WASHINGTON — For months, President Trump has minimized the coronavirus, mocked problem about it and treated the chance from it cavalierly. On Tuesday he took to the White Residence lectern and created a amazing assertion: He realized it was a pandemic all along.
“This is a pandemic,” Mr. Trump instructed reporters. “I felt it was a pandemic extensive just before it was called a pandemic.”
This is what Mr. Trump has actually claimed above the past two months:
On Jan. 22, requested by a CNBC reporter whether there were being “worries about a pandemic,” the president replied: “No, not at all. We have it absolutely less than command. It’s a single man or woman coming in from China, and we have it less than command. It is heading to be just wonderful.”
On Feb. 26, at a White Household news convention, commenting on the country’s initially described circumstances: “We’re likely to be pretty shortly at only 5 folks. And we could be at just a person or two men and women in excess of the future quick interval of time. So we’ve had extremely excellent luck.”
On Feb. 27, at a White House conference: “It’s likely to vanish. One working day — it is like a wonder — it will vanish.”
On March 7, standing next to President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil at Mar-a-Lago, his club in Palm Seaside, Fla., when requested if he was involved that the virus was spreading nearer to Washington: “No, I’m not anxious at all. No, I’m not. No, we’ve completed a good job.” (At least 3 members of the Brazilian delegation and a person Trump donor at Mar-a-Lago that weekend afterwards tested optimistic for the virus.)
On March 16, in the White Household briefing place, warning that the outbreak would “wash” away this summertime: “So it could be correct in that interval of time where it, I say, wash — it washes by means of. Other persons never like that phrase. But exactly where it washes via.”
That comment on Monday was element of Mr. Trump’s inching toward a more urgent tone in current times. But his assertion on Tuesday that he experienced lengthy witnessed the pandemic coming was the most abrupt pivot nevertheless from the voluminous number of promises and caustic remarks he has built about the sickness.
On Tuesday, Mr. Trump invested a lot of a lengthy information meeting praising his administration’s reaction to the pandemic, expressing the only error his administration produced had been a mismanagement of interactions with the information media.
When requested why he experienced suddenly adopted a somber and realistic tone about the virus on Tuesday, the president denied that he experienced adjusted his brain at all.
“No, I’ve normally seen it as very serious,” Mr. Trump mentioned. “There was no change yesterday from times just before. I experience the tone is very similar, but some individuals said it wasn’t.”
Apart from denying the seriousness of the coronavirus around the earlier two months, he experienced also shown an acerbic tone towards people who took it extra seriously.
Throughout a campaign rally in South Carolina on Feb. 28, Mr. Trump accused Democrats and the information media of hysteria and unfairly criticizing his administration by engaging in what he said was a political “hoax.” Some of his critics have stretched his comment to advise that he was calling the virus itself a hoax, but his supporters have argued that he was referring to the Democratic criticism, not the virus itself.
And until finally recently, he and numerous of his advisers experienced privately mocked his health and human services secretary, Alex M. Azar II, as alarmist.
A further theme has been the president’s featuring inaccurate information.
At a marketing campaign rally on Feb. 10, Mr. Trump proposed that the virus would be long gone by April, a assert he has usually repeated, even nevertheless his advisers had warned him that substantially about the virus was nonetheless not acknowledged.
As his administration came underneath intense criticism for a lack of urgency in issuing steerage to Americans or expediting assessments for the virus, Mr. Trump continued misrepresenting what was out there.
“Anybody proper now and yesterday, anybody that needs a exam receives a take a look at,” the president mentioned on March 6 all through a tour of the Centers for Sickness Handle and Avoidance in Atlanta. “They’re there. They have the tests and the exams are beautiful.”
In the course of that go to, Mr. Trump praised his have “natural ability” to grasp scientific theories, and then he likened the high quality of the test to a White House recounting of a telephone phone. “The transcription was fantastic, ideal?” he requested reporters. “This was not as fantastic as that, but rather great.”
Although his administration struggled to form a uniform answer about testing, Mr. Trump also created misleading claims about regardless of whether there would be a vaccine for the virus.
On Feb. 29, the president reported a vaccine would be readily available “very quickly” and “very quickly,” as he praised his administration’s steps as “the most aggressive taken by any country.” His assertion about how prolonged it would choose for a vaccine to be publicly obtainable was corrected by Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, a member of the coronavirus process power, in front of reporters.
This week, Mr. Trump announced that a vaccine candidate was getting into a clinical trial — only the initially phase in a prolonged approach to discover a preventive evaluate.
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