President Donald Trump continues to fail to inspire confidence in his basic competence when it comes to responding to and dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic. This Thursday while speaking with reporters outside the White House, he offered a strange word salad when discussing his own Coronavirus testing regimen. He told reporters that he had tested “positively,” meaning that he tested negative for the virus, which is, of course, the preferred result. Yet, that sort of rhetoric which treats infection with the virus as some kind of, uh, moral failure is not exactly how anyone with competence actually discusses the situation, at all. When pressed, Trump resorts to comments like his jarringly violent Thursday quip that he’d like to send journalists to space in order to “get rid” of them “for a while.”
“And den da lazers, dey go pew pew!!” https://t.co/YWxzOpPfMe
— Hurricane Helms (@ShaneHelmsCom) May 15, 2020
Early Thursday, Trump told reporters:
‘I tested very positively in another sense, this morning. I tested positively toward negative, right. I tested perfectly this morning. Meaning I tested negative… That’s a way of saying it: positively toward the negative.’
Trump on his latest coronavirus test: "I tested very positively in another sense, so, this morning, yeah. I tested positively toward negative, right? So, no. I tested perfectly this morning, meaning I tested negative. But that's a way of saying it. Positively toward the negative" pic.twitter.com/El53NhCqOL
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 21, 2020
No, Donald, that’s not a way of saying it. That’s not a way that anyone with competence in the field says it. Imagine if when a doctor had to deliver the news to a patient that they’d tested negative, they used the same sort of word salad that the president did and told patients that they’d tested “positively toward negative.” Considering the vast amount of testing that’s been done in the United States amidst the pandemic, there would be a sharp increase in stress levels across the country if doctors used the president’s rhetoric.
Sure, blame the victims @SecAzar . Their emploerys aren't providing proper guidelines and PPE but sure it's the workers' fault. Why aren't you blaming Katie Miller and Trump's valet? Or for that matter Rand Paul or Boris Johnson?
— Stacy Gould (@StacyGould14) May 9, 2020
Trump has been wildly off base in the past when it comes to testing. After Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary Katie Miller tested positive for the Coronavirus, he suggested that Coronavirus tests might not be reliable after all since, once upon a time, Miller had tested negative. However, that comment betrays a total lack of basic understanding about how viruses and virus testing work. A virus test doesn’t cover whether or not the person will ever contract the disease in question. How would it even do that? In fact, it covers whether the person has the disease at that exact moment.
And Trump notes that Katie Miller tested negative, but then she tested positive. Then goes on to say that Mike Pence tested negative so he’s OK. But didn’t Katie test negative too, and she wasn’t really OK. So how do we know Pence is ok? Or Trump for that matter. https://t.co/jOPWRvZvqL
— John Aravosis 🇺🇸🇬🇷🏳️🌈 (@aravosis) May 10, 2020
Early Thursday, he also “jokingly” suggested that he’d like to send reporters into space. Asked about an upcoming NASA/Space X rocket launch which will have astronauts bound for the International Space Station, Trump commented:
‘I’m thinking about going, that’ll be next week, to the rocket launch. I hope you’re all going to join me. I’d like to put you in the rocket and get rid of you for a while.’
Why is there anyone in politics who is okay with the president casually joking about “getting rid” of journalists? Watch below:
Trump says he's considering heading to Florida for next week's space launch, then jokes "I hope you're all gonna join me. I'd like to put you in the rocket and get rid of you for a while." pic.twitter.com/4z4NTVrVT4
— Dave Brown (@dave_brown24) May 21, 2020
Trump frequently appears to hope to use his wannabe authoritarianism as a mask for his utter incompetence. He frequently sounds like he has absolutely no idea what he’s talking about when it comes to basic issues surrounding the Coronavirus pandemic and other important policy areas.