On Sunday, outgoing President Donald Trump tweeted the profoundly appalling claim that the “number of cases and deaths of the China Virus is far exaggerated in the United States,” for which he has, of course, no legitimate evidence whatsoever. Ending the tweet with the inane exclamation “Fake news!”, Trump claimed that medical personnel in the United States go by a method that he summarized as “When in doubt, call it Covid,” which is simply false. During an appearance on ABC’s This Week over the weekend, Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health, who has been on the front lines of the nation’s COVID-19 response, repudiated the president’s claims.
Asked about the president’s tweet calling reported COVID-19 deaths “fake news,” Fauci commented as follows:
‘Well, the deaths are real deaths. I mean, all you need to do is to go out into the trenches, go to the hospitals, see what the health care workers are dealing with. They are under very stressed situations in many areas of the country. The hospital beds are stretched. People are running out of beds, running out of trained personnel who are exhausted right now. That’s real. That’s not fake. That’s real.’
NEW: Dr. Anthony Fauci responds to Pres. Trump's morning tweet on COVID-19 related deaths: "The deaths are real deaths. All you need to do is go out into the trenches… that's real, that's not fake." https://t.co/kKafPs2tFM pic.twitter.com/84ypgvOcl1
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) January 3, 2021
As Fauci noted, as of this weekend, hospitals around the country are struggling to keep up with the paces of local needs. Over the weekend, total COVID-19 hospitalizations across the country hit about 123,000. As the nation struggles, Trump — in his capacity as president of the United States — could be working round the clock to help ease the country’s burden. Instead, he is occupying his time with pushing atrocious lies about the basic reality of the COVID-19 death toll in the United States.
In his original appalling tweet on the subject, Trump commented as follows:
‘The number of cases and deaths of the China Virus is far exaggerated in the United States because of @CDCgov’s ridiculous method of determination compared to other countries, many of whom report, purposely, very inaccurately and low. “When in doubt, call it Covid.” Fake News!’
The number of cases and deaths of the China Virus is far exaggerated in the United States because of @CDCgov’s ridiculous method of determination compared to other countries, many of whom report, purposely, very inaccurately and low. “When in doubt, call it Covid.” Fake News!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2021
This occasion is not the first time that Trump has suggested that health workers and officials are involved in some kind of effort to make the situation artificially appear more grim. He has also alleged — with no supporting evidence — that those involved in the development of COVID-19 vaccinations purposefully dragged out the process until after Election Day in order to impact his political chances. Trump’s pathological self-obsession has defined his presidency.