President Donald Trump’s attempts to downplay the effects of the Coronavirus outbreak are well-documented. In the early days of the virus’s spread through the U.S., he called concern over the situation the Democrats’ “new hoax,” and he and his allies have consistently suggested that coverage of the situation was just a conspiracy to make the president look bad. Well, now 100 Americans have died from the illness, and almost 6,000 have been infected, and he’s changed his tone slightly — but at a Tuesday press conference, he laughably wrongly claimed that he’s been serious since the very beginning.
He does know tweets are public right? And that we can all see them? Is there any context in which he’d admit even the slightest mistake? A reporter — sitting far enough apart from her colleagues to adhere to social distancing guidelines — asked Trump at a press conference this Tuesday:
‘Some people did note that your tone seemed more somber yesterday. You talked about that August timeline. Did you see a projection some people talked about 2 million potentially that could die maybe prompted part of that? Was there a shift in tone?’
And amazingly — although it wasn’t long ago at all that Trump was calling concern over the Coronavirus a “hoax” — Trump insisted that he’s always known and portrayed how serious it was. He claimed:
‘I didn’t feel different. I’ve always known this is a real — This is a pandemic. I felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic. All you had to do was look at other countries. I think now it’s in almost 120 countries all over the world. I’ve always viewed it as very serious. There was no difference yesterday from days before. I feel the tone is similar, but some people said it wasn’t.’
— Michael Holmes (@holmescnn) March 17, 2020
Roll the tapes! Metaphorically speaking, at least. Among many possible examples, there’s a tweet from March 9, which is barely a week ago at this point. On that day, Trump tweeted:
‘The Fake News Media and their partner, the Democrat Party, is doing everything within its semi-considerable power (it used to be greater!) to inflame the CoronaVirus situation, far beyond what the facts would warrant.’
The Fake News Media and their partner, the Democrat Party, is doing everything within its semi-considerable power (it used to be greater!) to inflame the CoronaVirus situation, far beyond what the facts would warrant. Surgeon General, “The risk is low to the average American.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 9, 2020
Further back, he also tweeted:
‘Low Ratings Fake News MSDNC (Comcast) & @CNN are doing everything possible to make the Caronavirus look as bad as possible, including panicking markets, if possible. Likewise their incompetent Do Nothing Democrat comrades are all talk, no action. USA in great shape!’
Low Ratings Fake News MSDNC (Comcast) & @CNN are doing everything possible to make the Caronavirus look as bad as possible, including panicking markets, if possible. Likewise their incompetent Do Nothing Democrat comrades are all talk, no action. USA in great shape! @CDCgov…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 26, 2020
Repeatedly, Trump insisted that the Coronavirus would soon disappear and was nothing to be concerned about — and even just days ago, at a weekend press conference, Trump insisted that observers should “relax.” Notably, at that same press conference, public health official Dr. Anthony Fauci insisted that the worst may be yet to come for the United States, indicating how far off-base that the president really is and has been in regards to this crisis.
President Trump says the coronavirus is “something that we have total control over.”
Completely and utterly false.
The president is followed by Dr. Fauci: “the worst is yet ahead of us.”
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) March 15, 2020
He’s even actively gone against World Health Organization recommendations with his repeated insistence on calling the Coronavirus the “Chinese virus” or something of the sort.
President Donald Trump referred to the coronavirus as the “Chinese virus” even as the World Health Organization advised against naming a virus for a place. Read the latest on coronavirus: https://t.co/5OAPkZWxU7 #Covid2019 pic.twitter.com/qDH53OvOvu
— HuffPost UK (@HuffPostUK) March 17, 2020