Last updated on June 19, 2020
Still in a first wave doesn’t mean that like ramps, they can be both “long and steep”. And the lies keep coming.
Earlier in Sunday’s briefing, as Trump continued to claim that a failure to prepare for the pandemic was in no way his fault, he said that “not since 1917, more than a hundred years ago, has anything like this happened.” According to transcripts of his remarks on the White House website, it was the 25th time since March 11 that he has incorrectly referred to the 1918 influenza pandemic as an event that took place in 1917.
That Trump so frequently makes this mistake is particularly odd given that his own paternal grandfather, Frederick Trump, was among the estimated 675,000 Americans who died of the flu, passing away in the first year of the pandemic. The president’s insecure grasp on the most basic fact of the 1918 pandemic, which killed more than 50 million people worldwide, does seem to suggest that he is not particularly engaged in studying the history of that contagion for lessons in how to tackle this one. (The number of times he has repeated this mistake also seems to suggest that no one who works for Trump is willing to correct him. Then again, since his trade advisor Peter Navarro recently told 60 Minutes, “look, this hasn’t happened since 1917,” there might not be that many people in Trump’s White House who even know he’s wrong.)
Trump’s doggedness in repeating the error has even spawned a host of conspiracy theories among his most ardent supporters who believe that he must be doing so intentionally, as a way of secretly communicating with them in a code they need to decipher.
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