‘I Don’t Wear Masks Like Biden': Times When Trump Downplayed COVID
On 7 September, Trump had reportedly asked a reporter to remove a mask when he was asking a question.
US President Donald Trump and America’s First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for COVID-19. While the Trumps “begin our (their) quarantine and recovery process”, here’s a look at some of the ways in which Donald Trump downplayed the virus, and mocked those attempting to shield themselves from it.
Trump Mocks Biden for Wearing a Mask
As recently, as Wednesday, 30 September, Trump had said that “masks are ok” and “I put on a mask when I think I need it,” and had gone on to mock the Democratic presidential nominee for wearing one in all his public appearances.
According to CBS News, Trump had said, "I don't wear masks like him. Every time you see him, he's got a mask,” adding that Biden "could be speaking 200 feet away" and then "shows up with the biggest mask I've ever seen."
Trump on 3 September, had mocked Joe Biden for wearing a face mask. According to CNN, Trump had asked his supporters if they know "a man that likes a mask as much" as Biden.
He had further gone on to says: "It gives him a feeling of security..If I was a psychiatrist, I'd say this guy has some big issues.”
Mask in the Oval Office?
On 3 April, Trump, speaking at the while house, Trump, according to International Media reports, had said:
“I just don’t want to be doing, I don’t know...somehow sitting in the Oval Office behind that beautiful resolute desk, the great resolute desk, I think wearing a face mask as I greet presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens...I don’t know, somehow I don’t see it for myself. I just, I just don’t.”
On 21 May, according to the NYT, while touring a Ford plant, Trump said that he wore a mask, but “in the back area. I didn’t want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it.”
On 13 August, according to NYT, Trump said:
“My administration has a different approach: We have urged Americans to wear masks. And I emphasized this is a patriotic thing to do. Maybe they’re great and maybe they’re just good. Maybe they’re not so good.”
On 7 September, he reportedly asked a reporter to remove a mask when he was asking a question.
“If you don’t take it off, you’re very muffled,” said Trump.
‘It’s Going to Disappear'
On 26 February, according to CNN, US President Donald Trump said: "It's going to disappear. One day it's like a miracle, it will disappear.”
This was while the WHO Organisation was saying that the virus had “pandemic potential” and medical experts had warned against its spread in the US.
Trump had also said: "From our shores, you know, it could get worse before it gets better. Could maybe go away. We'll see what happens. Nobody really knows."
Further, Trump had gone on to allege that the media won't give the administration "credit" for a successful response to the virus.
"We have done an incredible job. We're going to continue," Trump had said.
This was when only 15 individuals had been diagnosed with COVID-19 in US.
Later on 19 July, Trump had, according to The Guardian, said: “I’ll be right eventually. It’s going to disappear, and I’ll be right.”
On being asked by Fox News if “dogged insistence that the virus would vanish, even while it proliferated”, would discredit him, Trump said:
“I don’t think so, you know why? Because I’ve been right probably more than anybody else.”
'It is Like a Flu’
Trump, on 26 February, had also, according to Forbes, said in a briefing:
“This is a flu. This is like a flu…It’s a little like a regular flu that we have flu shots for. And we’ll essentially have a flu shot for this in a fairly quick manner.”
On 9 March, he had tweeted: “So last year 37,000 Americans died from the common Flu. It averages between 27,000 and 70,000 per year. Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on. At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus, with 22 deaths. Think about that!”
‘SCHOOLS MUST REOPEN IN THE FALL!!!’
Trump has been a strong advocate of re-opening of Schools, even as COVID-19 cases in the US saw a steady rise.
While on 7 July, Trump tweeted:
“SCHOOLS MUST OPEN IN THE FALL!!! (sic)“
According to Guardian, Trump said in August:
“We got to open up our schools and open up our businesses.”
The president added that children “often have only mild symptoms, and medical complications are incredibly rare – very, very, very rare. Those that do face complications often have underlying medical conditions.”
As pointed out by The Guardian, even though young, healthy people are relatively less likely to suffer miserably from COVID-19, they can still be carriers of the infection and spread it to others.
On 10 September, Trump tweeted:
“Democrats, OPEN THE SCHOOLS ( SAFELY), NOW! When schools are closed, let the money follow the child (FAMILY). Why should schools be paid when they are closed? They shouldn’t!”
(With inputs from Forbes, CNN, The Guardian, CBS News)
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