Donald Trump was back in front of the cameras on Wednesday where he caused more outrage in his response to the pandemic, which he now appears to be pinning on the Democrats.
The president began by talking about Hurricane Sally, which made landfall in Florida and Alabama on Tuesday evening but the main focus of the press conference was coronavirus. Trump's administration has now released their plans for how they will distribute the vaccine once there is one and in typical fashion, he couldn't resist taking a swipe at Barack Obama and Joe Biden, claiming that their handling of swine flu was a 'disaster.'
To get the vaccine into the hands of American people, we’re fully mobilising the awesome power of American industry and also our military. This is the largest, fastest, and most advanced vaccine distribution effort in American history, by far. I was reading where Biden was saying that, oh, he’s going to have a plan. They did so bad on swine flu, you wouldn’t even believe it. Take a look at their record on swine flu. In fact, the person that headed it up said it was a total disaster.
In a further dig at Biden, Trump accused his election opponent of spreading anti-vax conspiracy theories after the Democrat said that he hopes distribution of the vaccine is 'free from political influence.'
I’m calling on Biden to stop promoting his anti-vaccine theories because all they’re doing is hurting the importance of what we’re doing. And I know that if they were in this position, they’d be saying how wonderful it is. They’re recklessly endangering lives. You can’t do that.
Trump had a graph with him on stage which served as a prop to show how many people would have died if he wasn't the president.
Trump wants you to grade his coronavirus on a curve where more than 2 million Americans would've died without his l… https://t.co/gGJ0v5eYJ4
While talking about this graph, Trump seemed to suggest that if the death totals from 'blue states' were taken away from the overall number then the US would be "at a level that I don’t think anybody in the world would be at."
Trump ludicrously claims that public health measures to slow the spread of coronavirus in blue states are "hurting… https://t.co/rTIj73n1Vm
He then claimed that some states need to "open up" and that lockdown measures are "hurting people far more than the disease itself."
And, by the way, we’d recommend they open up their states. I think it’s very important that they open up their states, because if you look at certain of them — North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and a couple of others — we have to get those states open. It’s hurting people. It’s hurting people far more than the disease itself. So we would recommend that you open them; let your people have freedom. And it’s unfair to your people to keep them closed at this stage.
Trump then spoke at length about the return of college football and seemed annoyed that the Pacific-12 conference hadn't restarted, claiming there was "no reason" why they shouldn't be playing right now.
I want to recommend Pac-12 — you’re the only one now. Open up. Open up, Pac-12. Get going. Said the same thing to Big 10 and they did, and now I’m saying it to Pac-12. You have time. You really have time right now. Get going.
Trump then pivoted back to criticising the Democrats, claiming that they are on an 'anti-police crusade' and that Biden described the police as "the enemy."
The anti-police crusade from the Democrats and the radical left — and radical-left Democrats also — has to stop. The leftwing war on cops puts our officers in danger and our communities at very grave risk. Can’t do this. Biden described the police as “the enemy.” They’re not the enemy; they’re the friend. They’re our friend. They’re helping us.
The president again claimed that Obama and Biden badly handled swine flu and it was apparently 'easy compared to this.'
Trump wants you to believe that the Swine Flu was just as bad as the coronavirus. I am old enough to report that it… https://t.co/RQSX4db7RP
After a few words from Dr Scott Atlas, one of the newest members of his coronavirus task force, Trump took questions from the media. The first was about the statement from Dr Robert Redfield of the CDC, who had said that a vaccine might not arrive until next summer, which Trump said was a "mistake."
Trump throws the CDC under the bus, says Dr. Redfield "made a mistake" during his testimony on Wednesday when he sa… https://t.co/TXc7EWY0T6
The next question was about the proposed deal for TikTok in the US to be sold to Oracle something which Trump said that he's not prepared to sign off on over fears of national security. The president continued and admitted that he was amazed to learn that there are laws in place that prevent private firms from giving money to the US Treasury to ensure a sale.
Well, we’re going to see about that. Amazingly, I find that you’re not allowed to do that. You’re not allowed to accept — and I said, “What kind of a gov- — what kind of a thing is? If they’re willing to make big payments to the government, they’re not allowed, because there’s no — there’s no way of doing that from a — there’s no legal path to doing that.
And I’m saying, “Wait a minute. They’re willing to make a big payment to the government and we’re not allowed to take the money? When does this happen? How foolish can we be?” So we’re going to — we’re looking into that right now. You understand that.
In perhaps the most alarming moment of the conference, Trump says without any hesitation that if there are any protests on election day then he will use the necessary force to stop demonstrators.
Trump threatens military force against rioters on election night: "We will put it down very, very quickly if there… https://t.co/XxpSoVhb7J
Trump was soon back to squabbling about a Covid-19 vaccine and was quoted a line which he said to Bob Woodward, for his new book on the president, where Trump reportedly said that a vaccine would take 13 to 14 months to create. Trump tried to deflect this by saying that the book was "boring" and attempted to highlight the Middle East peace deal that he has been brokering.
Trump: By the way, I read the book last night very rapidly because it was very boring. I read it and if you see wha… https://t.co/SJr8xsTlMw
Back to Dr Redfield, Trump again tries to demean the official after he said that at the moment investing in resources such as masks will do far more to help the US public than pouring money into finding a vaccine. Trump, in his wisdom, appears to think that he knows more about masks than Redfield.
Donald Trump really thinks he knows more about public health than the director of the CDC. This is the second time… https://t.co/KCx6tXZ73v
Trump then appeared to speculate on why Joe Biden is more comfortable to wear a mask in public than he is.
Well, I’m tested, and I’m sometimes surprised when I see somebody sitting and — like, with Joe. Joe feels very safe in a mask. I don’t know, maybe he doesn’t want to expose his face. I don’t know what’s going on. He’ll be way away from people, nowhere near people — there will be nobody with him. He doesn’t draw any crowds. He’ll have circles. These big circles. They’ll be way far away. There’s no reason for him to have masks on.
During this rant, Trump boldly claimed that his ABC town hall, which was considered to be a 'disaster' was actually a success and that he had received a lot of good feedback about it.
The President says a lot of people said a lot of good things about the ABC Town Hall https://t.co/NC4fY55Ay3
Amazingly, Trump is still claiming that if there wasn't so many tests then there wouldn't be so many cases.
Now what that does do is it shows up more cases. If we didn’t test, we wouldn’t have cases. You would have no cases. Other countries, they don’t test; they don’t have cases. And then they say, “Oh, the United States…” Well — but we’re proud of it because it shows where there may be a problem, and it helps people. But we’re doing tremendous testing at the historically black colleges and universities. And that was a suggestion I made, and I think it’s a good — I think it’s a good suggestion.
Continuing to undermine Redfield, Trump claims that the CDC director "contradicted himself" and "misunderstood" the questions that were being asked to him by Congress.
This is just absolutely insane stuff. Completely bonkers. There aren't words for how unhinged the president is. https://t.co/KFXKP1Cflz