Trump acknowledges ‘very sad milestone’ in 100,000 virus deaths

Alex Wayne

President Donald Trump publicly acknowledged the death toll of the U.S. coronavirus outbreak on Thursday, issuing a tweet remarking on the “sad milestone” after 100,000 Americans were lost to the disease.

Trump drew criticism over the weekend after he spent hours at his Northern Virginia golf course on both Saturday and Sunday as the number of deaths climbed toward six figures. He said little about the outbreak while issuing a barrage of tweets attacking his political opponents and promulgating conspiracy theories.

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump return to the White House, Wednesday, May 27, 2020, from Florida after the launch of a rocket ship built by the SpaceX company was postponed due to bad weather.

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said on Fox News that Trump had previously acknowledged the death toll by lowering flags at the White House to half-staff. She noted that the number of daily deaths from the disease has fallen since its peak in April, though the tally spiked on Wednesday to 1,526, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“We’re at a better place today as we look to re-open the economy,” she said.

The president’s re-election opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, has criticized Trump for his reticence to show empathy or console the nation in times of crisis. Biden tweeted a video on Wednesday acknowledging the toll of the outbreak.