WASHINGTON (AP) — “We have it totally under control,” President Donald Trump said in late January. A month later: “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA.”
April and May brought the deadliest stretch of COVID-19 to date. And this past week, the number of new coronavirus cases per day hit an all-time high of 50,000.
Trump persisted in his empty assurances. The virus is “getting under control,” he said Wednesday. His press secretary described the surge in many parts of the country as “embers.” The president acknowledged “flames” here and there.
They cast word confetti over a pandemic that has killed more than 128,000 people in the U.S., while the president talked up a July Fourth fireworks celebration on the National Mall and told those who come Saturday to wear masks if it makes them feel good.
A sampling of recent statements and how it compares with reality:
TRUMP, describing the COVID-19 threat as “getting under control”: “Some (places) were doing very well, and we thought they (the virus) may be gone and they flare up, and we’re putting out the fires.” — remarks Thursday on a jobs report.TRUMP: “I think we are going to be very good with the coronavirus. I think that, at some point, that’s going to sort of just disappear, I hope.” — interview Wednesday on Fox Business Network.THE FACTS: “The virus is not going to disappear,” says Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert. Nor can it be considered “under control” as cases have been surging to fresh daily highs.The number of confirmed cases in the U.S. per day has roughly doubled over […]