President Donald Trump delivered a Memorial Day-oriented speech at the White House this Friday to a group of bikers participating in an event called “Rolling To Remember,” and the president’s remarks quickly veered into a panoply of bizarre conspiracy theories that were completely disconnected from the reality of the issues that he was discussing. Rather than opt to focus on honoring soldiers who have given their lives in service of the U.S., Trump claimed, among other outlandish points, that Barack Obama should be faulted for not leaving behind tests for the Coronavirus, which was not detected until three years after Obama left office.
Standing on a White House balcony and addressing the bikers this Friday, Trump commented:
‘And when I came here, you people knew it better than anybody, our military was depleted, just like the shelves were empty from medical equipment. We didn’t have ventilators. We didn’t have testing. We didn’t have anything. And now, we have great testing, the best in the world. We have great ventilators. We’re making thousands and thousands of them, and we’re actually now so loaded with ventilators that we’re helping other countries and therefore saving lives also.’
It sounds like this whole ordeal is some kind of game to Trump in which he’s angling to see who can come out on top. It’s worth noting that Trump’s claim that the U.S. has the best testing in the world isn’t even true — in terms of tests per one million inhabitants, the U.S. is currently 37th in the world, with many major countries far out in front. Watch below:
Trump is commemorating Memorial Day by blaming Obama for not developing tests for a virus that didn't exist until 3 years after he left office pic.twitter.com/wn40sXOMwg
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 22, 2020
After the above, Trump got so ludicrous that he ended up claiming that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was “dancing on the streets of Chinatown” and inviting foreign travelers to “bring your infection with you” to the United States. As should go without saying, that never happened. Pelosi never admonished foreigners to bring Coronavirus infections to the United States, although Trump freely claimed otherwise, adding that Democrats are supposedly “sick.”
Riding on the White House grounds. pic.twitter.com/doJypcp3Pw
— Jeff Mason (@jeffmason1) May 22, 2020
At the end of Trump’s comments, the president invited the bikers who’d been listening to fire up their engines and ride around the White House driveways.
— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) May 22, 2020
The spectacle prompted mockery since the White House ended up looking like some kind of Bikers for Trump stop — The New Yorker writer Jon Lee Anderson mockingly asked if “a Monster Truck rally on the South Lawn” would be next.
What's next, a Monster Truck rally on the South Lawn? https://t.co/DZv7yI3IGZ
— Jon Lee Anderson (@jonleeanderson) May 22, 2020
The president’s apparent desperate attempt to deflect blame for the Coronavirus onto his political opponents underscores his own failures in responding to the disease, which has already killed well over 1,000 people cared for by the Department of Veterans Affairs alone. That’s hundreds and hundreds of apparent veterans who have died from the disease that Trump was still dismissing as irrelevant at the end of February. A new study came out just recently from Columbia University outlining how the implementation of social distancing demands just a week or two earlier than their actual implementation could have saved tens of thousands of lives across the U.S. via stemming the spread of the virus at an earlier point.
Breaking News: If the U.S. had begun imposing social distancing measures one week earlier than it did in March, about 36,000 fewer people would have died in the coronavirus outbreak, according to new estimates from Columbia University researchers https://t.co/phnyEgZice
— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 21, 2020