Trump downplays John Lewis’ legacy, says coronavirus is ‘under control’

President Trump speaks during a news briefing at the White House.
President Trump downplayed John Lewis’ civil rights record in explaining why he didn’t attend the representative’s memorial services last month.
(Evan Vucci / Associated Press)

Trump downplayed John Lewis’ civil-rights legacy to explain why he didn’t attend the longtime representative’s memorial services.

In an interview with “Axios on HBO,” the president said he “never met” the Georgia Democrat, who died in July.


“He didn’t come to my inauguration,” he said. “He didn’t come to my State of the Union speeches. And that’s OK. That’s his right. And again, nobody has done more for Black Americans than I have.”

Pressed on whether he found Lewis’ life story — leading the historic march over the Edmund Pettus bridge in Selma, Ala., being beaten and imprisoned as a civil rights protester — impressive, Trump declined.

“I can’t say one way or the other,” he said. “I find a lot of people impressive. I find many people not impressive.”

Trump did not visit the Capitol when Lewis was lying in state last week.

During the same interview, Trump also said the coronavirus pandemic is “under control as much as you can control it” in the U.S when pressed about the fact that 1,000 Americans are dying of COVID-19 each day.

“They are dying, that’s true. And you have — it is what it is,” he said. “But that doesn’t mean we aren’t doing everything we can. It’s under control as much as you can control it. This is a horrible plague.”


Trump then said that his administration sent the states equipment they needed to fight the pandemic, but many governors “didn’t do their job.”