Donald Trump glaringly misspoke – or at least, hopefully he did – when he told a large crowd of people that his administration would “vanquish” the impending Covid-19 vaccine on Tuesday evening.
"We will vanquish the vaccine, and we will get rid of this whole thing," Trump told thousands of supporters in Nebraska, a traditionally conservative state.
(This came just hours after he mocked his opponent Joe Biden for being mentally "shot" in a different speech.)
"You watch, it's going to happen very quickly, and we're going to have our country back. And the whole world is going to be coming back," he added. "This was a terrible, terrible thing to happen".
First of all, what a strange use of the world ‘vanquish’. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, the word – in most popular use during the 1800s – is mostly used in literary settings. It gives the example: “Napoleon was vanquished at the battle of Waterloo in 1815”.
But beyond that, Trump clearly seems to have forgotten the meaning of the word ("To defeat an enemy or opponent, especially in war"). Social media responded to what people called his "bizarre" and "idiotic" claim with joking confusion: “Say what??”, with pleas for Trump to ‘vanquish his presidency’.
Trump has for months promised a vaccine before the election, which is now completely unlikely (as it is one week away). American's leading infectious diseases expert Dr Anthony Fauci, however, said earlier this week he was “increasingly optimistic” that a vaccine would be approved in the next few months.
Hopefully Trump won’t vanquish it in the meantime.