He’s long done the same with the economy. Glossing over the fact that the US economy contracted at a 32.9% annual rate during the second quarter and tens of millions of Americans have lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic, Trump claimed Saturday that the US is witnessing “the fastest economic recovery in American history” because of the “foundation” set by his administration. He touted an all-time high in retail sales and gains in the stock market as evidence of a rebound that would sway voters to support him in November.
“If I win, which — I hope to win, how can you not when you see numbers like this both on the virus and on the economy?” Trump said during a Saturday news conference at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey. “I mean, we should win. We should all keep this incredible thing going. And I built it once and I’ll build it again.”
At a time when his administration is engulfed in controversy over its efforts to curtail USPS operations when the demand for mail-in ballots has grown exponentially due to the pandemic, Trump tried to blame the agency’s funding woes on Democrats. He said they are blocking negotiations on the next stimulus package due to an impasse over the Democrats’ proposed aid package for states that drained their coffers while fighting the pandemic.
CNN and other news organizations reported Friday that the postal service has reduced operating hours in several states and was removing letter collection boxes off streets in some states, according to union officials.
Revealing his own political calculations as they relate to post office funding, Trump went on to say in that Fox interview that if Democrats don’t get that funding “that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting.” (House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said the bipartisan board of governors that runs the USPS — a board whose members are appointed by Trump — requested the proposal of $25 billion for USPS in the next stimulus bill).
On Saturday, Trump continued to sow doubts about the integrity of the November election, claiming without any evidence that “universal mail-in voting is going to be catastrophic” and would “make our country a laughingstock all over the world.”
“I don’t know what he’s doing. I can only tell you he’s a very smart man,” Trump said Saturday.
Former President Bill Clinton criticized the changes made by the postmaster general on Saturday.
“We expect our elected officials to protect the right to vote and to ensure every vote is counted. This attack on the Postal Service —an institution as old as the Republic itself and depended upon, and trusted by, millions of Americans— is designed to ensure that neither is done,” Clinton tweeted.
Trump claims progress on the pandemic
Trump tried to strike an upbeat tone on Saturday as he gave an update on coronavirus case positivity rates and hospitalization rates. He cited improvements in the test turnaround times by commercial labs and said the administration has intensified its focus on shielding the most at-risk individuals in nursing homes and long-term care facilities, by rushing protective gear and rapid testing equipment to those sites.
“You can’t compare it to 1917, that was incredible. That was the worst ever by far,” Trump said Saturday, referring to the flu pandemic that caused tens of millions of deaths worldwide in 1918 and 1919. “No, I don’t agree with that.”
“I do believe that Americans, many are wearing masks, which is a good thing,” Trump added, with no hint of irony, after he held out so long on wearing a mask in public and many of his most loyal GOP governors have refused to impose mask mandates in their states. “When you look at the numbers, the way the numbers are coming out, I mean, it’s very impressive when you see what’s happening…. We’ve done it right. We closed it up.”
He then immediately pivoted to the economy, which he is counting on to save his reelection prospects: “Our economy is going to set records — if stupid people aren’t elected next year, we’re going to have one of the greatest years that we’ve ever had.”
Source : Nbcnewyork