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Donald Trump Has Some Coronavirus Theories & They’re All Terrible

Donald Trump gives a stupid wave.

(Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)

Donald Trump has said a lot of ignorant, dangerous things about the coronavirus and it doesn’t look like he’s planning on stopping any time soon.

Trump called into Sean Hannity’s Fox News show Wednesday to rant for 40 minutes about a range of topics from Super Tuesday results to Joe Biden’s political record to “Deep State” corruption. He also talked at length about the coronavirus, using the platform to once again contradict health officials’ statements and recommendations.

Trump has repeatedly tried to downplay the risk posed by the virus and the response needed. He’s said that it will disappear one day “like a miracle,” that once things start to warm up in the spring and summer, that will take care of everything, and that we can expect a vaccine in two months or so. (That’s not at all accurate.)

Yesterday, he told Sean Hannity that the global mortality rate of 3.4% as stated by the World Health Organization is “a really false number.”

“Now, and this is just my hunch,” he said, “but based on a lot of conversations with a lot of people that do this. Because a lot of people will have this and it’s very mild. They’ll get better very rapidly. They don’t even see a doctor. They don’t even call a doctor.”

“So I think that that number is very high. I think the number, personally, I would say the number is way under 1 percent,” he added.

It’s true that the number of known cases is not the same as the number of existing cases. But, for one thing, the President should not be publicly contradicting experts’ statements based on his “hunch.” Also, there’s no reason to talk like this unless you want to diminish the urgency around the existing cases and related deaths. And while no one wants to resort to unreasonable panic, Trump’s continued determination to convince us that this is all fine and will just take care of itself is unreasonably irresponsible.

It’s so easy to think this kind of epidemic will just disappear on its own when you’ve never been responsible for making it disappear. It’s like becoming a parent and thinking Santa will just bring your kids their presents, except instead of toys, it’s public safety that he’s expecting to just appear out of nowhere. That’s not how that works. You actually have to make things happen when you’re in charge.

Trump also said that “we have thousands or hundreds of thousands of people that get better, just by, you know, sitting around and even going to work–some of them go to work but they get better.”

Understandably, a lot of people latched onto the part there about going to work, which may not have been an outright endorsement that sick people infect their offices, but it definitely wasn’t a discouragement either. Trump, of course, blamed the media instead of listening to his own words.

Trump has another theory about the coronavirus besides the one about it being fine and going away on its own, even with people continuing to go into work, and it’s that Obama is to blame.

“The Obama administration made a decision on testing that turned out to be very detrimental to what we’re doing, and we undid that decision a few days ago so that the testing can take place in a much more accurate and rapid fashion,” Trump said Wednesday. “That was a decision we disagreed with. I don’t think we would have made it, but for some reason, it was made. But we’ve undone that decision.”

The New York Times writes:

It was not entirely clear what he was referring to. Health experts and veterans of the government during Mr. Obama’s presidency said they were unaware of any policy or rule changes during the last administration that would have affected the way the Food and Drug Administration approved tests during the current crisis. Moreover, if there were, Mr. Trump did not explain why his administration did not change the rules during its first three years in office.

We can’t say exactly what he did wrong but we know it was terrible and deliberately designed to hurt America and also me personally in ways that don’t really make any sense if you think about them for more than the length of this sentence is most reliable Trump excuse for literally any subject of his presidency.

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Vivian Kane (she/her) has a lot of opinions about a lot of things. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri with her husband Brock Wilbur and too many cats.