What the President Continues to Say (About The Plague)

I have retained Trump’s linguistic infelicities in this compendium of his remarks on the COVID-19 pandemic.

July 1— “I think we’re going to be very good with the coronavirus. I think that, at some point, that’s going to sort of disappear, I hope.”

July 2— “Some areas that were very hard-hit are now doing very well.  Some were doing very well, and we thought they may be gone and they flare up, and we’re putting out the fires.  But other places were long before us, and they’re now — it’s like life; it’s got a life.  And we’re putting out that life, because that’s a bad life that we’re talking about.”

July 4— “Likewise, testing – there were no tests for a new virus, but now we have tested over 40 million people. But by so doing, we show cases, 99 percent of which are totally harmless. Results that no other country will show, because no other country has testing that we have – not in terms of the numbers or in terms of the quality.” [Dr Anthony Fauci: “I’m trying to figure out where the president got that number. What I think happened is that someone told him that the general mortality is about 1%. And he interpreted, therefore, that 99% is not a problem, when that’s obviously not the case.”]

July 6—  “Why does the Lamestream Fake News Media REFUSE to say that China Virus deaths are down 39%, and that we now have the lowest Fatality (Mortality) Rate in the World. They just can’t stand that we are doing so well for our Country!”

July 7—  “I think we are in a good place.”

July 8—  “In Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and many other countries, SCHOOLS ARE OPEN WITH NO PROBLEMS. The Dems think it would be bad for them politically if U.S. schools open before the November election, but it is important for the children & families. May cut off funding if not open!”

July 8—  “I disagree with @CDCgov on their very tough & expensive guidelines for opening schools. While they want them open, they are asking school [sic] to do very impractical things. I will be meeting with them!!!”

July 13— “I have a very good relationship with Dr Fauci. I’ve had for a long time – right from the beginning. I find him to be a very nice person. I don’t always agree with him.”

July 14— “We hold China fully responsible for concealing the virus and unleashing it upon the world.  They could’ve stopped it.  They should’ve stopped it.  It would’ve been very easy to do at the source when it happened.”



July 19— “Many of those cases are young people that would heal in a day. They have the sniffles, and we put it down as a test.”

July 19—  [responding to interviewer Chris Wallace, who asked Trump about his claim that dealing with the pandemic was now a matter of putting out “burning embers”] “No, no. But I don’t say — I say flames, we’ll put out the flames. And we’ll put out in some cases just burning embers. We also have burning embers. We have embers and we do have flames. Florida became more flame like, but it’s — it’s going to be under control.”

July 19—  “But when you talk about mortality rates, I think it’s the opposite. I think we have one of the lowest mortality rates in the world.” [The US has the 7th highest mortality rate in the world, ahead of Brazil and Russia.]

July 21— “You will never hear this on the Fake News concerning the China Virus, but by comparison to most other countries, who are suffering greatly, we are doing very well – and we have done things that few other countries could have done!”

July 21—  “We are in the process of developing a strategy that’s going to be very, very powerful. We’ve developed as we go along. Some areas of our country are doing very well, others are doing less well.”

July 21—  “The virus will disappear. It will disappear.”

July 23— “It’s really something that, for me — I have to protect the American people.  That’s what I’ve always done.  That’s what I always will do.  That’s what I’m about.”

July 28–  “He’s [referring to Dr Fauci] got this high approval rating. So why don’t I have a high approval rating with respect — and the administration — with respect to the virus?”

August 1– “Wrong! We have more cases because we have tested far more than any other country, 60,000,000. If we tested less, there would be less cases.”

August 3– “I think we are doing very well and I think … as well as any nation.”

August 3– “They are dying. That’s true. And you — it is what it is.”

August 3– “OPEN THE SCHOOLS!!!”

August 3– “Right now I think it’s under control.”

August 3–  “You know, there are those that say you can test too much, you do know that.”

August 5– “If you look at children, children are almost – and I would almost say definitely – but almost immune from this disease.”

August 5– “We’re supplying the world now with ventilators. You go back four months, we didn’t have any.”

August 5– “It will go away like things go away.”

August 10– “I think it’s been amazing what we’ve been able to do. If we didn’t close up our country, we would have had 1.5 or 2 million people already dead. We’ve called it right, now we don’t have to close it. We understand the disease. Nobody understood it because nobody’s ever seen anything like this. The closest thing is in 1917, they say, right? The great pandemic. Certainly was a terrible thing where they lost anywhere from 50 to 100 million people. Probably ended the Second World War, all the soldiers were sick.” [Spanish flu, the pandemic Trump is referring to, occurred in 1918. World War 2 started in 1939.]

August 10– “These [college footballers] are young strong people, they won’t have a big problem with the China virus. Most of them will never get it, statistically.”

August 17– “….My Administration and I built the greatest economy in history, of any country, turned it off, saved millions of lives, and now am building an even greater economy than it was before. Jobs are flowing, NASDAQ is already at a record high, the rest to follow. Sit back & watch!”

August 17– “We built the greatest economy in the history of the world, and now I have to do it again. You know what that is? That’s God testing me. He said, ‘You know, you did it once.’ And I said, ‘Did I do a great job, God? I’m the only one that could do it.’”

August 18– “The places they were using to hold up now they’re having a big surge … they were holding up names of countries and now they’re saying ‘whoops!  Do you see what’s happening in New Zealand? They beat it, they beat it, it was like front-page news because they wanted to show me something. Big surge in New Zealand, you know it’s terrible, we don’t want that, but this is an invisible enemy that should never have been let to come to Europe and the rest of the world by China.” [The death rate in New Zealand is 0.45 deaths for every 100,000 people, compared to the US rate of 53.04, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.]

August 22– “The deep state, or whoever, over at the FDA is making it very difficult for drug companies to get people in order to test the vaccines and therapeutics. Obviously, they are hoping to delay the answer until after November 3rd. Must focus on speed, and saving lives!”

Kenneth Surin teaches at Duke University, North Carolina.  He lives in Blacksburg, Virginia.