By Karen Kirk:
Donald Trump has finally met a foe that he can’t seem to spin. In fact, coronavirus Covid-19 has him spinning in circles, spewing out contradictions and politicking while tens of thousands of Americans die.
In a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, 52% of voters disapproved of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus compared to 44% who approved, and nearly 60% percent of them said they are more worried that stopping stay-at-home restrictions would lead to more COVID-19 deaths than they are that the restrictions will hurt the U.S. economy.
Here is a timeline of Trump’s many verbal twists illustrated by memes that friends and family have been sending to me as we share our grief over Trump and the coronavirus.
“It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.” (CNBC interview.)
“China has been working very hard to contain the Coronavirus. The United States greatly appreciates their efforts and transparency. It will all work out well. In particular, on behalf of the American People, I want to thank President Xi! “(Tweet.)
“There’s a theory that, in April, when it gets warm — historically, that has been able to kill the virus. So we don’t know yet; we’re not sure yet. But that’s around the corner.” (Speaking to National Border Patrol Council members.)
“The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. … Stock market starting to look very good to me.” (Tweet.)
“We have very few people with it, and the people that have it are … getting better. They’re all getting better. … As far as what we’re doing with the new virus, I think that we’re doing a great job.” (Press briefing while visiting India.)
“And again, when you have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, that’s a pretty good job we’ve done.” (Press conference.)
“I just spoke to President Xi last night, and, you know, we’re working on the — the problem, the virus. It’s a — it’s a very tough situation. But I think he’s going to handle it. I think he’s handled it really well. We’re helping wherever we can.” (Remarks to press.)
“It’s going to disappear. One day, it’s like a miracle, it will disappear.” (White House meeting with African American leaders.)
“Anybody that needs a test, gets a test. They’re there. They have the tests. And the tests are beautiful.” … You know, my uncle was a great person. He was at MIT. He taught at MIT for, I think, like a record number of years. He was a great super genius. Dr. John Trump. I like this stuff. I really get it. People are surprised that I understand it. Every one of these doctors said, ‘How do you know so much about this? ‘ Maybe I have a natural ability. Maybe I should have done that instead of running for president.” (Visiting CDC in Atlanta.)
“I’ve always known this is a real, this is a pandemic. I’ve felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic.” (Press briefing.)
“Governors are supposed to be doing a lot of this work, and they are doing a lot of this work. The Federal government is not supposed to be out there buying vast amounts of items and then shipping. You know, we’re not a shipping clerk.” (Press briefing.)
“I cut off China very early. And if I didn’t, we would have a chart that you wouldn’t believe. So how would I know to do that? How would I know to cut off Europe? I cut off Europe very early. I mean, you have to make a decision. People knew that some bad things were going on, and they got off to a late start. And some others got off to a late start also. But we cut off China. If we didn’t cut off China, we would have been in some big trouble. And we cut it off.” (News conference. News reports say 40,000 people arrived from China after Trump’s cutoff.)
“It’s not about me. Nothing is about me. You are never going to treat me fairly, many of you, and I understand that.” (Press briefing.)
“When somebody is the president of the United States, the authority is total.” (Press briefing.)
“To the best of my knowledge, I’m the president of the United States.” (Press briefing.)
“Had the W.H.O. done its job to get medical experts into China to objectively assess the situation on the ground and to call out China’s lack of transparency, the outbreak could have been contained at its source with very little death,” the president said Tuesday. “Instead, the W.H.O. willingly took China’s assurances to face value.” (Press briefing.)
“LIBERATE VIRGINIA, and save your great 2nd Amendment. It is under siege!” (Tweets.)
“A lot of great decisions have been made.” (Press briefing.)
“We have a tremendous numbers of viewers,” Trump said during Saturday’s briefing. “We’ve done a fantastic job. We’re the talk of other nations.” (Press briefing.)
“And our testing is expanding very rapidly by millions and millions of people. So we’ve — we’ve done more testing than all of these countries combined, France, United Kingdom, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, India, Austria and Australia, Sweden and Canada. That’s something, right?” (Press briefing.)
“Ventilators are a big deal and we are now the king of ventilators. We have so many ventilators. … We are the king of ventilators all over the world. ” (Press briefing.)
“Testing is a local thing. It’s very important. It’s great, but it’s a local thing.” (Press briefing.)
“Look, if I wasn’t elected you would right now be at war with North Korea. Maybe the war would be over, hopefully with a victory, but if you remember when I first came in we didn’t have ammunition — not a good way to fight a war. President Obama left us no ammunition. Okay, and he left us virtually no medical and ventilators. The cupboard was dry.” (Press briefing.)
“I believe the term the governor used was phenomenal. We’ve done a phenomenal job. That was the term that — that was the only sentence they left out which is OK. But I — I appreciate that’s what Governor Cuomo said.” (Press briefing.)
“I think we’re going to win in a landslide because a lot of people love Trump. A lot of people love me.” (Press briefing.)
“We did a really good job with testing. We have tremendous testing, tremendous testing capability.” (Press briefing.)
“In light of the attack from the invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American citizens, I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States!” (Tweet.)
MAIN PHOTO: The New Yorker cover of March 9, 2020 and the coronavirus king from a YouTube video from JackTakesRussianMoney.
Karen Kirk is the Deputy Editor/Photo Editor of The Blue View and a retired journalist who worked for the Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service, which later became the McClatchy/Tribune News Service.
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