In His Latest Coronavirus Rant, Trump Slams Fauci, CNN, China, and the Democrats

On Monday, President Donald Trump pulled out all the old stops to defend his inability to control the coronavirus: delegitimizing public health experts, denouncing the media, and vilifying Democrats.

After signing an executive order limiting US government agencies’ use of foreign labor, Trump began extolling the virtues of hydroxychloroquine, the antimalarial drug that has not been proven to improve outcomes in patients with COVID-19. When a reporter countered that Dr. Anthony Fauci, the administration’s foremost infectious disease specialist, has said the drug doesn’t work, Trump replied, “I don’t agree with Fauci on everything.” Earlier in the day, Trump lashed out against Dr. Deborah Birx, apparently for accurately noting that the coronavirus is “extraordinarily widespread” in the country and for warning against reopening schools in areas with high infection rates.

Trump also criticized Fauci for allegedly arguing against a ban on travel from China in the early weeks of the pandemic, saying, “I overrode him, and I did the right thing.” As The Atlantic‘s Ed Yong explains, travel bans ironically tend to do more harm than good, promoting last-minute travel before the restrictions go into effect and ultimately failing to halt the spread of disease.

When asked why the United States has experienced so many coronavirus deaths compared to other countries around the world, Trump said, “Hold it. Fake news, CNN. Hold it.” He then falsely implied that the worldwide spread of the virus was intentional, claiming that the virus “was released by China.” And, rather than taking responsibility for the way that the virus has ravaged American cities, he blamed Democratic mayors and governors.

“What the Democrats want,” he said, “all they’re really interested in is bailout money to bail out radical left governors and radical left mayors like in Portland and places that are so badly run. Chicago, New York City. You see what’s going on over there?”

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