Last updated on August 6, 2020
It’s all about disclosing. And Trump showed us how unhinged he is on Monday in his HBO/Axios interview with Jonathan Swan. Because don’t you need another hat… or undercoating.
Ã¢ÂÂ The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) August 5, 2020
“The manuals” say you shouldn’t test too much
Trump has repeatedly said he doesn’t like coronavirus testing because it shows how many cases you have, which makes him look bad. This time he attributed this position to undefined manuals and books.
Trump: There are those that say, you can test too much. You do know that.
Swan: Who says that?
Trump: Oh, just read the manuals. Read the books.
Swan: Manuals? What manuals?
Trump: Read the books. Read the books.
Swan: What books?
Trump changed the topic rather than explain.
Nonsense chart exchange
Trump is attempting to obscure the fact that the U.S. currently has a much worse outbreak than almost any peer country. The method of obfuscation he is trying to use — most likely, that his aides have prepped for him — is to cite the raw numbers of tests performed and the death rate of patients who have coronavirus. This allows him to avoid the fact that the U.S. has far-higher rates of both coronavirus infections and deaths.
Unfortunately for Trump, he cannot remember his lines, and so he simply hands over the charts that have been given him without coherently explaining what they’re supposed to mean. “Well, right here, the United States is lowest in numerous categories. We’re lower than the world. We’re lower than Europe.”
Swan looks at the chart and realizes Trump has given him the proportion of patients who die who already have the coronavirus. That number, of course, means very little. The problem is not that the coronavirus kills more people who have it here than who have it elsewhere. The problem is that way more people have it here.
When Swan points out that he is citing the percentage of people who die as a proportion of the public, not the proportion who die as a share of patients, Trump seems not to understand what he is even saying. “You have to go by — you have to go by — here, look. Here is the United States. You have to go by the cases.”
He looks like an addled used-car salesman trying to upsell a customer on Tru-Coat, but he can’t remember what it’s called, so he keeps saying “it’s for your car.”
The Civil Rights Act hasn’t worked out very well
Swan: Lyndon Johnson! He passed the Civil Rights Act.
Trump: Ask, ask: how has it worked out? If you take a look at what Lyndon Johnson did. How has it worked out?
Swan: You think the Civil Rights Act was a mistake?
Trump changed the subject back to his administration and the fact that black unemployment was low. (Before it became very high.)
Even the most racist Republicans at least give lip service to supporting the Civil Rights Act. The standard racist demagogic move is to imply that the civil-rights movement turned bad after ending de jure segregation. Claiming it was a mistake to end segregation is not a popular or clever idea.
Ã¢ÂÂ Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) August 4, 2020
Ã¢ÂÂ Brianna Keilar (@brikeilarcnn) August 5, 2020
Ã¢ÂÂ Grace Panetta (@grace_panetta) August 4, 2020
Ã¢ÂÂ Olga Lautman (@olgaNYC1211) August 5, 2020
Ã¢ÂÂ Alexander Reid Ross (@areidross) August 5, 2020
Ã¢ÂÂ Michael McFaul (@McFaul) August 4, 2020
Ã¢ÂÂ Elizabeth de la Vega (@Delavegalaw) August 5, 2020
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