It took Rachel Maddow just 90 seconds on Thursday night to shred all of Donald Trump’s latest lies about the worldwide coronavirus outbreak, which is getting worse by the day.
On her program, the MSNBC host said that she typically doesn’t dwell on the monsoon of lies that come out of this White House on a daily basis, but the president’s words matter in the midst a global health crisis.
“The president is telling the public things that are not true about the coronavirus, and specifically about how it is being handled in the United States,” Maddow said. “This is a problem.”
She said the president’s lies are “causing confusion for people who are trying to understand the scale of this problem and how our lives are going to change here and what public health interventions might have to be.”
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) February 28, 2020
In a case like this, in a public health crisis like this, the president’s words are very consequential in themselves. And what he’s been saying about the coronavirus is not his usual, you know, feel free to ignore it, bragging, making stuff up about his enemies and the press and all that stuff. I mean, the president is telling the public things that are not true about the coronavirus, and specifically about how it is being handled in the United States, and this is a problem. The president again tonight says it’s only 15 cases of coronavirus in the United States. It is not 15 cases. It is at least 60 cases of coronavirus in the United States, not 15. The president continues to insist that the number of cases is going to drop. It’s going to go away, it’s going to become near zero when even his own administration’s health officials are saying we need to prepare for the fact that the number of cases in the United States is going to go up. The president is saying the number of cases is going to go to zero, it’s going to drop away. It’s not. It’s going to go up. The president is not telling you the truth about that. The president has said that in the last two days that the coronavirus is less lethal, has a lower fatality rate than the common flu. That is quite dramatically, mathematically incorrect. But him insisting on that is causing confusion for people who are trying to understand the scale of this problem and how our lives are going to change here and what public health interventions might have to be.
Trump is the least equipped person on the planet to manage a global health crisis
Moments of crisis demand that our leaders – whether Republican or Democrat – assess the problem in an honest way and work together to solve it.
Donald Trump can do neither of those things because he cannot see outside of himself. He refuses to tell the truth about the coronavirus outbreak because he knows it will shine a light on his administration’s utter incompetence in dealing with it.
So instead of redoubling his efforts and pledging to do better going forward, he is burying his head in the sand hoping that made-for-TV press conferences will paper over his disastrous response to a looming global pandemic.
With the president unwilling to tell the truth – and perhaps unable to even accept it – about this outbreak, the United States will be much less able to confront it.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.