Donald Trump Just Went on TV and Compared COVID-19 to a Campfire, We Think

Jabin Botsford/Getty

The coronavirus is a rapidly developing news story, so some of the content in this article might be out of date. Check out our most recent coverage of the coronavirus crisis, and subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

At an industry roundtable on Wednesday, Trump set out to assure Americans that soon the country will reopen, the coronavirus will disappear, and things will be just as they were three months ago. 

And then he took questions.

“Without a vaccine, sir, why do you think the the virus is going to be gone?” asked CBS News reporter Ben Tracy.

“It’s gonna go,” Trump responded. “It’s gonna leave. It’s gonna be gone. It’s gonna be eradicated. It might take longer, it might be in smaller sections. It won’t be what we had.” He went on, “If you have a flare-up in a certain area—I call them burning embers—boom, we put it out. We know how to put it out now.” 

It perhaps goes without saying that we are a long way from “knowing how to put it out.” Yesterday, the American death toll from the coronavirus surpassed that of the Vietnam War. More than a million Americans have tested positive for the virus; less than 2 percent of Americans have been tested. 

Perhaps exchanges like these are why, per the Washington Post, officials have advised Trump to stop answering questions from reporters. 

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate