Donald Trump at the Trump National Golf Club, Sterling, Virginia, November 21, 2020 (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)
UPDATE, NOV. 22:
The US death toll has reached 256,783, with 884 fatalities on Sunday. Confirmed cases are 12,247,486, an increase of 158,046 in 24 hours.
ORIGINAL ENTRY, NOV. 21: Donald Trump skips the G20 summit’s discussion of the Coronavirus pandemic to play golf.
Trump briefly joined the virtual summit on Saturday from the White House Situation Room. He tipped off his refusal to accept his defeat in the US Presidential election, “I look forward to working with you again for a long time.”
Trump’s bluster was in sharp contrast to the opening statements of other leaders which focused on the Coronavirus crisis. He boasted about the US economy and military, and repeated the false claim that his Administration’s Operation Warp Speed was involved with the succesful vaccine trials of the pharamaceutical company Pfizer.
One official recounted, “His was the anomalous speech. Everyone else talked about global matters of life and death.”
Trump then left as the leaders, including French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Macron, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, considered measures to deal with a pandemic which has killed 1.34 million people globally.
He put out a series of tweets protesting the victory of President-elect Joe Biden and pushing the disinformation of a “stolen election”, before heading to his golf course in Virginia for the third weekend in a row.
The US death toll reached 255,899 on Saturday, with 1,486 fatalities in 24 hours. Confirmed cases are 12,089,440, an increase of 178,534.
Deaths are at their highest daily rate since mid-April, with 2,070 on Thursday. All but three US states are enduring “uncontrollable spread” of the virus.
Trump has continued to deny any problem and to assail State governors, even as his son Donald Jr. is among the latest in his inner circle to test positive after a White House “super-spreader” event.
However, as he lied on Saturday that he had virtually attended the G20’s pandemic session, he slipped into an apparent admission that Coronavirus is unchecked in the US as well as in other countries:
The Fake News is not talking about the fact that “Covid” is running wild all over the World, not just in the U.S. I was at the Virtual G-20 meeting early this morning and the biggest subject was Covid. We will be healing fast, especially with our vaccines!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 21, 2020