President Donald Trump has frequently downplayed the rapidly-spreading coronavirus after fears of its spread sent markets nosediving and threatened to damage his most valuable justification for his reelection: the economy.
The President repeated that pattern on Wednesday night when he called in to far-right Fox News host Sean Hannity's show to talk about the virus, which has now infected nearly 100,000 people since its first diagnosis two months ago.
The President dismissed the World Health Organization's determination of the virus's 3.4 percent death rate, before suggesting that people with the virus have gone to work with no consequences.
In this clip, Trump: 1. Denies WHO's coronavirus death rate based on “hunch" 2. Calls coronavirus "corona flu" 3. S… https://t.co/mkSwCySBr0— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar) 1583380089.0
"We have thousands, or hundreds of thousands of people that get better just by sitting around, and even going to work. Some of them go to work, but they get better."
Health experts and people with general sense have repeatedly warned employees not to go to work if they're feeling sick or showing flu-like symptoms, but that didn't seem to matter to Trump.
Not a doctor or a virologist or anything but DEFINITELY DO NOT GO TO WORK IF YOU HAVE CORONAVIRUS PLEASE AND THANK… https://t.co/wS0Psn0VN7— Chris Hayes (@Chris Hayes) 1583383322.0
The public’s health would best be advanced by quarantining @realDonaldTrump in communicado. https://t.co/9WKElhgvYN— George Conway (@George Conway) 1583411509.0
How dangerously ignorant does he have to get exactly? https://t.co/WMkrmF4TH4— Schooley (@Schooley) 1583382537.0
As backlash ensued, the President took to Twitter to say that he didn't say what he said.
I NEVER said people that are feeling sick should go to work. This is just more Fake News and disinformation put out… https://t.co/6XDR0Bd9ms— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1583418650.0
In the tweet, Trump repeated his claim that the media is deliberately sensationalizing the virus in an effort to damage his chances at reelection.
But with tweets like these, it appears Trump is doing that all by himself.
YES YOU DID!!! You and your "alternative facts" administration are a danger and a real threat to the safety and wel… https://t.co/04fyehb5Yu— Fred Guttenberg (@Fred Guttenberg) 1583420718.0
This is Trumps worst tweet ever. His citizens are dying. Instead of tweeting helpful #CDC science... we get this... https://t.co/DI7IUg6xK5— How it works (@How it works) 1583421006.0
@realDonaldTrump Except Trump literally said on live national television with Sean Hannity on Fox News that thousan… https://t.co/HsNwtdwDDU— Eugene Gu, MD (@Eugene Gu, MD) 1583420025.0
@realDonaldTrump It's on video knucklehead.— Angela Belcamino (@Angela Belcamino) 1583418943.0
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has now confirmed that there are at least 129 cases of coronavirus in the United States.