The virus outbreak in the United States has killed over 180 thousand Americans, unemployed millions more, and completely upended daily life in America.
President Donald Trump's administration has been roundly criticized for its early dismissals of the threat posed by the virus, its failure to adopt a national testing strategy, and the President's own mixed messaging regarding masks and potential treatment.
Nevertheless, at the Republican National Convention this week, speaker after speaker praised Trump's handling of the virus, mostly citing his decision to shut down travel from China to the United States after the virus had already come to U.S. shores.
Among these speakers was White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow, who repeatedly used the past tense in speaking of a virus that's very much still alive.
Larry Kudlow, the top economic adviser to President Trump, talks about the COVID-19 pandemic in the past tense at RNC:
"It was awful. Health and economic impacts were tragic. Hardship and heartbreak were everywhere." https://t.co/tz1YGPbJoz pic.twitter.com/27a7rAoT6u
— CBS News (@CBSNews) August 26, 2020
"It was awful. Health and economic impacts were tragic. Hardship and heartbreak were everywhere."
The night Kudlow's pre-taped speech aired, over 36 thousand new cases had been diagnosed and over 1000 people had died that day alone.
Democratic nominee Joe Biden's communications director, Kate Bedingfield, excoriated Kudlow's warped view of the virus response in a statement:
"President Trump's RNC is an alternate reality. In this delusion, thousands of Americans didn't die in the last week from COVID-19, nor have millions of Americans been infected or put out of work."
Others widely agreed with her take.
Larry Kudlow just said Trump “successfully fought" the #coronavirus pandemic. He spoke in the past tense, as if the crisis is over. Thousands are dying every week. This is crazy propaganda. #RepublicanConvention
— David Corn (@DavidCornDC) August 26, 2020
Larry Kudlow is referring to the global pandemic in the past tense.
On average, the virus is currently killing about 1,000 Americans each day.
— Matt Viser (@mviser) August 26, 2020
Larry Kudlow is referring to the pandemic in the past tense.
(It is very much still happening.)
— Shane Goldmacher (@ShaneGoldmacher) August 26, 2020
Republicans like Larry Kudlow boldly using the past tense to talk about the pandemic. "It was terrible." If you "fought it successfully" Larry, why are you Skyping in from your den?
— Devin Field (@thatdevinfield) August 26, 2020
Larry Kudlow referred to the pandemic in the past tense.
Then said “coming out of the pandemic"
What is he talking about?
It's untrue, tone deaf & insensitive for a man who spent decades working in TV. #RNCConvention2020
— David Begnaud (@DavidBegnaud) August 26, 2020
Why did Larry Kudlow talk in past tense about the coronavirus when it's still killing a thousand Americans a day? He represents the administration.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) August 26, 2020
Others were astounded at the frequent claims that Trump's leadership throughout the crisis had been a success.
The alternate fact convention is in full gear.
But the truth on COVID is that Trump:
Didn't act quickly.
Didn't act effectively.
And sure as hell, didn't act compassionately.
That's why the health of our nation, our economy and our democracy depend on voting him out.
— Adam Schiff (@AdamSchiff) August 26, 2020
Trump Family Convention is dark, but also somewhat flowerly insofar as every speaker pretends that Trump's COVID-19 death toll of 180,000 & Trump Depression's 10.2% unemployment rate simply do not exist.
— David Rothschild (@DavMicRot) August 26, 2020
RNC video praising Trump on the virus omitted all the times he said it would disappear, his praise of China's handling of Covid, pushed states to reopen prematurely, and encouraged Americans to inject themselves with disinfectants.
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) August 25, 2020
The United States death toll—already the highest in the world—is expected to surpass 200 thousand before the end of the year.