During a bizarre event in Pennsylvania, presidentTrump had a lot to say.
Like, a lot.
He had a go at the media (of course), “globalists” (yeesh) and social distancing (*face palms*)
During Trump’s latest appearance, you could practically feel the coronavirus rage emanating from him, particularly seeing as he now seems to have gone off testing just days after saying America was “leading the world”.
Anyway, in a strange turn, Trump said he’s never known anyone who’s died of the flu...
It might be true that Trump has never met anyone who’s died of the flu (or is known to him of dying of the flu).
But Vox journalist Aaron Rupar points out that Trump’s own grandfather died of the flu in 1918.
Here's Trump saying today in Pennsylvania that "I've never lost anybody to the flu that I knew." Trump's own grandf… https://t.co/6uzaM6uCSk
Frederick Trump, a a German–American businessman and the patriarch of the Trump family, immigrated to the United States at the age of 16. He started out as a barber, but made his fortune by operating a restaurant and a brothel in Canada. He became a US citizen in 1892.
The "family story" of his death is cited in Gwenda Blair’s 2000 book The Trumps: Three Generations That Built an Empire. It reads:
On May 29, 1918, while walking with his son Fred, Trump suddenly felt extremely sick and was rushed to bed. The next day, he was dead. What was first diagnosed as pneumonia turned out to be one of the early cases of the Spanish flu, which caused millions of deaths around the world.
So there we have it.
In Trump’s defence, his grandfather died long before he was born, so he might not technically have known him.
But he certainly knows of him… or should do.
And he should definitely know better than to make strange comparisons like that to downplay a deadly pandemic.