After admitting US coronavirus deaths could hit 90,000, President Donald Trump is bemoaning his own plight — complaining that he has been treated worse by the press than Abraham Lincoln.

Trump’s comments, at the memorial in Washington to a president assassinated after emancipating the slaves during the Civil War, are likely to further polarize the raging politics of a current crisis that is stretching national unity.
“I am greeted with a hostile press the likes of which no president has ever seen,” Trump said at the Fox News town hall Sunday night.
“The closest would be that gentleman right up there,” Trump said, pointing to the 16th President’s statue. “They always said nobody got treated worse than Lincoln. I believe I am treated worse.”
Trump was speaking at the time of a widening divide between states that are opening economies and others that are warning of premature declarations of victory amid soaring tensions fomented by weeks of coronavirus lockdowns.
His statement was classic Trump, not just in his audacity of comparing himself to the man many historians rate as the greatest president, but in his tendency to make every issue — even in the midst of a national tragedy in which tens of thousands of Americans have died — about himself.
It was also striking that the President who has consciously torn at the nation’s political fault lines should make such a partisan argument under the marbled gaze of the man who warned “a house divided against itself cannot stand.”
The President admitted on Fox that his earlier estimates that between 50,000 and 60,000 Americans could die in the pandemic would be outpaced. But he argued that his leadership had been “successful” since the higher end of models used by the White House had previously suggested up to 240,000 people could perish, even with social distancing in place.
“I used to say 65,000 and now I’m saying 80 or 90 and it goes up and it goes up rapidly,” the President said at the memorial, a glorious and spectacular backdrop for the Fox News show that an image-making campaign manager could not have bettered.
New stage in pandemic battle
The President was making his best case at the start of a critical new period in the battle with Covid-19 that will play out in millions of lives in the six months until Election Day.
The aggressive approach of some governors is already heaping pressure on those who run states still committed to stay-at-home guidelines — even with the virus still rampant in their paths.
With Trump agitating for a spark to the nation’s economic engine, some governors are taking a gamble that in many cases contradicts the best advice of epidemiologists, but if it works, could alleviate some of the crippling unemployment triggered by the pandemic.
The next three weeks or so could show whether a new wave of infections caused by an easing of tough restrictions on daily lives will swarm state hospital systems, significantly increase the death toll and require a return of lockdowns.
In a worrying sign that points to the scale of the coming risks, few, if any, states that are opening have satisfied White House reopening guidelines of a 14-day dip in infections.
But if states like South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Texas that are opening can provide a blueprint for the “new normal” that will be American life until a vaccine is found, they could point the way to a broader recovery and speed economic rebounds.
Trump claims intelligence officials did not raise coronavirus until late January
Trump claims intelligence officials did not raise coronavirus until late January
The reopening — albeit with many restaurants and businesses at reduced capacity — will also provide a new challenge for the White House, which insisted again Sunday, despite considerable contrary evidence, that it has built sufficient national testing to give states everything they need to safely ease restrictions.
States like New York and Maryland — which have plateaued at fairly high levels from Covid-19 — are warning that easing restrictions too quickly could be disastrous.
“I think everybody has a right to protest and express their feelings. A couple of dozen people did so yesterday. And they have every right to do that,” Maryland Republican Gov. Larry Hogan told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.”
“We sadly, we had far more people die yesterday in Maryland than we had protesters,” he said, warning that some states appeared to be moving toward opening in an unsafe manner.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, also registered concern that gains made against the pandemic by grueling stay-at-home orders could be squandered as the lure of summer drains resolve.
“My gut says the weather is going to warm, people are bored, people want this over. They see the numbers going down. They can take false comfort,” Cuomo said on Sunday.
“We never said it was over. We said the numbers are going down,” he added. “Roughly a thousand new people a day walk into the hospitals.”