About three weeks ago, America’s flagrantly dishonest president claimed the death toll from the COVID-19 Coronavirus infections might reach 50,000 but not, by any means, 60,000.
Another lie by the most lying president in American history. The U.S. death toll stood at 59,266 at the end of Tuesday and will pass 60,000 at some point on Wednesday.
“Trump has never abandoned the regular application of disinformation as his primary defense against the coronavirus,” says Dana Milbank of the Washington Post.
Milbank points to this exchange between NBC’s Kristen Welker and Trump Tuesday afternoon in an East Room Q&A:
“Some health experts say the U.S. needs 5 million tests per day by June in order to safely reopen,” NBC’s Kristen Welker told Trump in an East Room Q&A Tuesday afternoon. “Can you get to that benchmark?”
“We have tested much more than anybody else times two,” Trump replied. “We’ve tested more than every country combined.” He went on to say, “We inherited a very broken test, a broken system, and a broken test, and within a short period of time, we were setting records. We have done more than the entire world combined.” And he said the United States would “very soon” surpass 5 million tests per day — a figure beyond his own administration’s rosy forecasts.
Really? Milbank says Trump’s claim that the U.S. has done more tests “than the entire world combined” is a massive lie, even by Trump’s standards. Worldmeters, which keeps data on cases, infections, deaths, and other things like tests reported Tuesday that the United States has tested, to date, 5.8 million tests overall, not even close to the claim of 5 million a day.
“Trump has said this over and over, and it has been corrected over and over, for it is demonstrably false,” Milbank adds. “The rest of the world has combined done far behind that number.”
Russia, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Arab Emirates has completed more than 10 million tests on their own and other nations have added at least another 10.
“This disinformation, which in its repetition has become an obvious lie, is at the core of Trump’s coronavirus response,” Milbank says.
Fact-Checker Glenn Kessler and his colleagues, in a soon to be released book, “Donald Trump and His Assault on the Truth,” notes:
One hallmark of Trump’s dishonesty is that if he thinks a false or incorrect claim is a winner, he will repeat it constantly, no matter how often it has been proven wrong,” they write. Though “many politicians are embarrassed,” Trump “keeps going long after the facts are clear, in what appears to be a deliberate effort to replace the truth with his own, far more favorable, version.
Now the country, fed a diet of such disinformation about the virus, is preparing to reopen workplaces based on the false assurance — 5 million tests a day! More than the rest of the world combined! — given by Trump’s repeated lies. What could possibly go wrong?
White House aides now admit they have to work “to convince President Trump that speaking to the public about the health and medical implications of the virus is potentially too damaging to be worth the risk.”
The National Republican Senatorial Committee sent a memo to all GOP candidates saying “Don’t defend Trump, other than the China Travel Ban — attack China.”
Trump’s response to the memo? “A furious Trump campaign said, “any Republican candidate who followed the memo’s advice should not expect the active support of the reelection campaign and risked losing the support of Republican voters.”
An increasing number of GOP candidates say privately they might be better off without any active support of Trump or his reelection campaign because polls show Republican voters are now expressing increased doubts about the hyperactive actions of a president who shows signs of losing what little grip they may still have on reality.
There are some things you can’t explain away, like 56,000 Americans dead (so far) from the coronavirus, an administration response that has been chaotic and incompetent, and a president whose communication about the pandemic has been so uninformed and embarrassing that his own aides are trying to figure out how to keep his mouth shut.
Republicans running in states such as Colorado, Arizona or North Carolina could reach a point, based on both the polls in their states and the overwhelming evidence of Trump’s failure, when they decide that sticking by him does them more harm than good.
This could be just a little old-fashioned karma comin’ round.
Couldn’t happen to a more deserving presidential wannabe.
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