Trump news: President says he still hopes coronavirus 'will disappear' as US death toll closes in on 130,000 amid surge in infections

Donald Trump is known for preferring his written briefings to be as short as possible: AFP via Getty Images
Donald Trump is known for preferring his written briefings to be as short as possible: AFP via Getty Images

Voters have increasingly expressed disappointment in President Donald Trump's performance in recent months amid the coronavirus pandemic, with a Wednesday poll showing his disapproval rating standing at 59 per cent just four months ahead of the November election.

Democratic presidential challenger Joe Biden says the self-proclaimed “wartime president has surrendered, waved the white flag and left the battlefield” when it comes to tackling the coronavirus and standing up to Russia and “does not know what’s going on” in a blistering new campaign speech on Tuesday, his first press conference since March.

In a report released on Wednesday, the Pentagon claims that Russia has been working alongside the Taliban to drive US troops out of Afghanistan.

"As of February, the Russian government was working with the central government, regional countries and the Taliban to gain increased influence in Afghanistan, expedite a US military withdrawal, and address security challenges that might arise from a withdrawal," the report stated.

With the US passing 2.6m cases of Covid-19 and 126,000 deaths, the administration has bought up almost all global supplies of the drug remdesivir, one of only two treatments proven to assist in the fight against the condition.

In an interview with Fox News, his first following the Russia reports, the president suggested that the virus would "disappear" – repeating a claim he made in February, when he said that "one day, it's a like a miracle, it will disappear".

He also praised the economy, despite a looming recession and record unemployment, reaching 13 per cent within the months following the pandemic.

"Retail sales are at a record number, especially when you talk about increase," he said. "When you look at percentage increase nobody has ever seen anything like it."

The president's approval ratings have plunged, with a disapproval rating standing at 59 per cent four months before Election Day.

He's preparing for a fireworks display at Mount Rushmore on Friday in search of a sorely needed high point for his last several weeks, though the event won't be socially distanced and wearing masks won't be enforced.

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