At a coronavirus briefing yesterday, Donald Trump went on a bizarre rant in which he seemed to be... bragging (?!) about how intelligent coronavirus is, saying the virus is "so brilliant" it's outsmarted antibiotics.
It was a strange way to describe a non-IQ-having virus, but more importantly, betrayed a worrying lack of understanding of even basic biology: as most of us know, antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections. They are – and have always been – useless against viruses, regardless of how "smart" they are.
A widely circulated clip shows an even-more-confused-than-usual Trump raving about the virus's ability to stand up to antibiotics, which he claims "used to solve every problem".
These are his words exactly. And no, we haven't got confused in our transcription. This ridiculous word salad of nonsense is what the actual president said.
"This is a very brilliant enemy, you know. It's a brilliant enemy. They develop drugs like the antibiotics, you see? Antibiotics used to solve every problem. Now one of the biggest problems the world has is... the germ has gotten so brilliant that the antibiotic can't keep up with it!"
"And they're constantly trying to come up with a new... people go to a hospital and they catch... they go for a heart operation – that's no problem – but they end up dying from... from... problems! You know the problems I'm talking about."
"There's a whole genius to it! We're fighting... not only is it hidden but it's very smart, OK? It's invisible! And it's hidden! But it's very smart."
While it's true that antibiotic-resistant bacteria is a cause for concern, this has absolutely nothing to do with coronavirus, which – you may have gathered from its name – is a virus, not a bacteria.
No need to take our word for it, people on Twitter jumped at the chance to fact-check Trump's latest nonsense:
Trump has repeatedly appeared to get the basic facts of coronavirus confused, spreading such dangerous misinformation during his briefings that some TV networks have even decided to stop airing them live in order to be able to fact-check them.
Seems nothing is changing.