During weeks of briefings and discussions over the escalating coronavirus, President Trump has repeatedly fixated on one thing above all: the numbers.He has aggressively quizzed aides about infection statistics — asking how many cases are in each state, and how the quantity compares with other countries. He has clung to the rosiest projections, repeating only the figures that support his belief that the coronavirus is not morphing into a global catastrophe. And he has intensely followed the plummeting stock market, which plunged more than 1,600 points Wednesday.Trump’s obsession with numbers — both publicly and privately — has dominated and shaped the administration’s response to the coronavirus, as advisers and public health experts try to placate a leader who largely views the global pandemic through the political lens of how the statistics reflect on his presidency and hopes for reelection. This account is based on interviews with more than a dozen administration officials and other observers, many of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.He wants market numbers up, and he wants case numbers down. Trump is a man who has measured much of his life in numbers — first wealth, then crowd size and votes, and


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