A bullshit detector should be mandatory equipment for everyone who watches Trump's coronavirus press conferences, which was held today in the White House Rose Garden for some reason (maybe so the roses could be fertilized by the crap that came out of Trump's mouth).
It's difficult for me to pick the most disturbing thing Trump said today, given how many candidates there are.
But I'll start with what irked me the most: Trump's repeated claim that if there are only 100,000 to 200,000 coronavirus deaths in the United States, that's a good thing, a success, because supposedly there could have been 2.2 million deaths if the United States had done nothing to stop the pandemic.
That figure of 2.2 million came from a study conducted by the Imperial College in London. The shocking number reportedly helped lead the White House to strengthen its social distancing efforts, which was a good thing. But Dr. Birx, the White House's coronavirus coordinator, has said that data doesn't support the estimate of 2.2 million deaths from an unchecked outbreak.
Nonetheless, at today's press conference Trump seized on the 2.2 million figure as evidence that 100,000 or 200,000 deaths in this country would be a great success, because even the Idiot-in-Chief knows that 200,000 is a lot less than 2.2 million.
Well, try telling that to the families of the 200,000 dead Americans. Or to the soon-to-be dead people themselves. Are they supposed to be saying "You're doing a great job, Mr. President," as the sycophants Trump surrounds himself with at the press conferences repeat ad nauseam?
Remember, Trump is the guy who said not long ago, when there were 15 cases of coronavirus in the United States, that soon the number would be zero. Earth to Trump: the number now is 141,096 with at least 2,469 deaths. (OK, that's actually New York Times to Trump.)
So Trump isn't exactly a great public health expert. If he was, in February he wouldn't have sent 35 tons of personal protection equipment (PPE) to China even though real experts were warning that the coronavirus was coming to the United States. Now all that PPE is desperately needed by medical personnel in this country.
This Financial Times graphic shows that currently the United States (red line) is on the track where coronavirus deaths double every three days. Which means, if that trend continues, that in 18 days, the week after Easter, our country would have 160,000 deaths.
If anybody thinks that would be a success for Trump, they're like the diehard Trump supporter who I de-friended on Facebook today after she downplayed an earlier version of this chart that I shared in a Facebook post. Facts don't lie, but Trump does, and his supporters let him get away with it.
I told this person that I have zero tolerance for anyone who ignores the reality of the horrible tragedy that is unfolding both in our country and around the world. I can't stop Trump from spreading his B.S. in his press conferences, but I can do my best to stand up for public health truth in my personal life.
Yes, it's good that today Trump backed off his goal of "opening the country up for business" by Easter, now saying that it could be June before this happens. But he only did this because the coronavirus crisis is something that Trump can't lie his way out of, like he does with everything else.
People are getting sick. People are dying. Many more people are going to get sick. Many more people are going to die.
But today Trump used his very limited brain power to insult reporters and make wild accusations about a hospital in New York City somehow not needing hundreds of thousands of masks because... he didn't say, just that someone should look into why the hospital says it needs that many now, when before they only needed 10,000 masks.
The Trump administration dithered as the coronavirus swept the planet, and because of its delay, has had to scramble to provide hospitals with the equipment they need to save lives and protect patients and health care workers, such as face masks and ventilators. State officials, doctors, and nurses have been pleading for more of both. Trump suggested on Sundaythat hospitals have been hoarding ventilators and that something more nefarious may be afoot when it comes to their mask supplies.
Trump noted suspiciously that hospitals are now asking for many more masks than they used to, before the coronavirus appeared. “How do you go from [10,000] to 20,000 masks [prior to the pandemic] — to 300,000…” he said, “Something’s going on. And you ought to look into it as reporters. Where are the masks going? Are they going out the back door? … And we have that happening in numerous places.”
“I don’t think it’s hoarding,” he later added, “I think maybe it’s worse than hoarding.”
Trump provided no evidence to support this accusation. It is true that some people have been stealing masks and other medical supplies from hospitals, but Trump’s insinuation that theft is to blame for hospital mask shortages during this pandemic, at a time when hundreds of hospitals across the country — and countries across the world — are all begging for more masks, is insane.
Yes, insane. That's Trump, an unstable insane person who, sadly, is in charge of the federal government until he gets kicked out of office this November for gross incompetence.