Trump calls into NBC golf broadcast to discuss return of sports, coronavirus response

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump marks 'very sad milestone' of 100K coronavirus deaths DOJ: George Floyd death investigation a 'top priority' Lifting our voices — and votes MORE on Sunday called into a pro golf event to discuss the return of sports and boast of his administration's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The president called into the NBC broadcast shortly after returning to the White House from a weekend at Camp David.

NBC Sports anchor Mike Tirico attempted to cater to what he described as the "mostly sports audience" tuned in to watch the TaylorMade Driving Relief event on in Florida. It was the first televised event featuring PGA Tour golfers in roughly two months after several tournaments were canceled or postponed because of the pandemic.

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Still, Trump at times veered into bragging about the economy his administration had overseen before the virus crippled it, and he touted the growing coronavirus testing capacity across the country when asked about balancing tests for athletes with those needed for the broader public.

Trump said he hoped to soon see the country return to a place where large crowds could gather without social distancing, something public health experts have warned may be unlikely with a breakthrough in vaccines or therapeutics.

"We want to get sports back. We miss sports," Trump said. "We need sports in terms of the psyche, the psyche of our country."

"We want to be back to normal where you have the big crowds where they’re practically standing on top of each other, not where they’re worried," Trump added.

Major sports leagues in the U.S. have suspended competition amid the pandemic. The Trump administration convened league commissioners for an advisory panel that held one conference call in April, but it's unclear whether it's been active since.

Among the participants in the weekend golf event was Rory McIlroy, who last week criticized Trump over his response to the coronavirus pandemic.

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"The fact that he's trying to politicize it and make it a campaign rally and say we administer the most tests in world like it is a contest — there’s some stuff that just is terrible," McIlroy told the McKellar Journal podcast. "It's not the way a leader should act. There is a bit of, sort of, diplomacy that you need to show, and I just don't think he's shown that, especially in these times."

Tirico mentioned McIlroy on Sunday but did not directly ask Trump to react to the golfer's critical comments. The president, who played with McIlroy in 2017, did not address the criticism.

The president hasn't been to a golf course since early March, when he played at his club in West Palm Beach during a weekend spent at his Mar-a-Lago estate. He has in the past visited his golf club in Sterling, Va., during summer weekends.