The news coverage on the spread of the coronavirus is rapidly evolving making it easy to miss some of President Trump’s most egregious comments about his bungled response to the coronavirus outbreak in the United States. President Trump continues to focus more on his own reelection and trying to boost the stock market than taking responsibility and doing the work necessary to keep Americans safe.
1. He “Stopped” The Coronavirus
At the signing of the $8 billion emergency spending package today, President Trump falsely claimed, “we closed it down…we stopped [the virus].” Meanwhile, U.S. cases continue to surge, with new cases reported in Maryland and the death toll reaching 14 Americans as of this morning.
2. Silver Lining: People Are Spending Money In The United States
At a Fox News town hall in Scranton, President Trump said there was a silver lining to coronavirus, which is that “People are now staying in the United States, spending their money in the US — and I like that.” This came amid reports of catastrophic losses for the domestic travel industry and panic buying by American consumers as well as another nearly 1,000 point loss in the stock market. Trump concluded “It’s all going to work out. Everybody needs to be calm. We have plans for every single possibility.”
3. Obama Administration Is At Fault For Difficulties Testing People For Virus
At a meeting with airline executives, President Trump blamed the Obama administration for difficulties with the coronavirus test saying, “The Obama administration made a decision on testing that turned out to be very detrimental to what we’re doing & we undid that decision a few days ago so that testing can take place in a much more accurate and rapid fashion.”
4. People With Symptoms Should Go To Work
On Wednesday night Trump appeared on Sean Hannity’s program on Fox News and provided dangerously incorrect information to the roughly 3.5 million viewers of the show. Trump said he believed WHO estimates of the coronavirus death rate are “false” and that based on his “hunch,” he believes the actual number is “way under 1%.” Trump then said “a lot of people will have this and it’s very mild” and implied that it was all right for people to continue to go to work while sick, directly contradicting directives from the CDC and state and local public health authorities.
5. Vaccine Is Three To Four Months Away
Speaking to the press while meeting with President Ivan Duque of Colombia, President Trump said that he has asked pharmaceutical companies to “accelerate whatever they’re doing in terms of a vaccine,” and reassured his supporters that it is “very safe” for him to continue to hold campaign rallies during the outbreak. At the meeting with pharmaceutical executives, Trump said he heard that a vaccine can be ready in three to four months and was corrected by Dr. Anthony Fauci who said the vaccine won’t be ready to deploy for at least a year.
At his rally in North Carolina on Monday night, Trump celebrated the stock market rebound and praised pharmaceutical executives who he said would have a vaccine ready “relatively soon” as well as “something that makes you better, and that’s going to actually take place we think even sooner.” Trump accused Democrats of politicizing the crisis and “denigrating the noble work of our public health professionals” and attacked “fringe globalists” who want to keep borders open and allow infection into the US.