Coronavirus live news: Trump says Fauci 'alarmist'; Hong Kong makes masks mandatory indoors

By Helen Sullivan

20:29

France decrees masks must be worn indoors

20:16

South Africa deaths pass 5,000

20:06

Hong Kong makes masks mandatory indoors

19:59

Trump says Fauci 'alarmist'

In an extraordinary interview with Fox News on Sunday, US President Donald Trump called White House expert Dr Anthony Fauci “an alarmist” and when asked about the country’s daily coronavirus death toll of around 1,000, said: “It is what it is.”

The interview – during which Trump also had an argument about whether identifying an elephant was strong evidence of mental stability – was especially combative when it touched on Covid-19, which has infected 3.7 million and killed more than 140,000 people in the US.

Fox News anchor Chris Wallace repeatedly pressed Trump about the death toll, which the president attempted to deflect by pointing to mortality rates in other countries and saying the US had “one of the lowest in the world”.

“That’s not true, sir,” Wallace said, correctly. The argument continued, and Trump asked his press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, to “please bring me the mortality rate”.

“You have the numbers, please?” Trump asked. “Because I hear we have the best mortality rate. Number, number one low mortality rate.”

Waving a paper, Trump said: “I hope you show this on air, because it shows what fake news is about.”

“I don’t think I’m fake news,” Wallace said.

Wallace then showed a montage of Trump’s comments minimizing Covid-19, by saying it will “disappear” at some point.

“I’ll be right eventually,” Trump said. “It is going to disappear. I’ll say it again, it’s going to disappear and I’ll be right.”

Wallace asked if Trump’s past comments about coronavirus disappearing, which have not been borne out, discredited him.

“I don’t think so, you know why? Because I’ve been right probably more than anybody else.”

Trump went on to say masks can cause problems (they do not) and to say an increase in testing is why the US has such a high number of cases. It is not.

19:46

Summary