Trump Can’t Recall Any Campaign Rallies in Feb, March When Reporter Asks If He Downplayed Coronavirus Risk (There Were Six)
President Donald Trump came down with a severe case of selective amnesia at his White House coronavirus briefing, pretending that he could not recall any of the six campaign rallies he held during February and March, when world public health officials were warning about the serious risk of coronavirus.
Trump’s transparent ploy came during an exchange with PBS White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor, who pressed him on whether he bears any responsibility for people getting sick during those two months because they were taking their cues from his dismissive attitude toward the outbreak.
It was her follow-up question that caused Trump’s mind to go conveniently blank, when she recounted to him a family that got sick after attending a funeral in mid-March and contracting the virus.
“The second question I have about your language and how you approached the coronavirus at the beginning,” Alcindor said. “I interviewed someone who said his family got sick, they went to a funeral in mid-March and they said mainly because the president wasn’t taking it seriously. ‘If the president had a mask on and he was saying stay home then I would have stayed home,’ but he said his family members were sick because they were listening to you. Do you feel like maybe down-playing the virus that’s what people got people sick?”
“A lot of people love Trump, right?” the president said in a bizarre, self-congratulatory response, which did not at all address Alcindor’s very serious question. “And guess I’m here for a reason. To the best of my knowledge I won, and I think we’re going to win again. I think we’re going to win in a landslide.”
Finally, he approached the actual question.
“But just so you understand you’re talking about March, right? And yet — excuse me, excuse me —” he said, cutting her off as she attempted to elaborate, before once again highlighting his Jan. 31 commercial travel ban that prevented foreigners — but not 40,000 U.S. nationals — from returning to the country from China. “We put on a ban because I was reading bad things about China. The World Health Organization should have told us.”
In fact, on Jan. 23, WHO issued a bulletin that warned: “All countries should be prepared for containment, including active surveillance, early detection, isolation and case management, contact tracing and prevention of onward spread of 2019-nCoV infection, and to share full data with WHO.”
“So you tell me, Nancy Pelosi was having — she wanted to have a street party in Chinatown in San Francisco at the end of February,” Trump then said, deflecting, before giving a back-handed compliment to Alcindor. “That’s a month later. And then they tell me it’s only a political talking point, but you feed into it because you’re too good a reporter to let that happen. Really, you are a good reporter. You’re too good of a reporter to let that happen.”
When Alcindor finally got a word in edgewise, she correctly pointed out “you held rallies in February and in March.” The Trump campaign held rallies on Feb. 10, 19, 20, 21, and 28, as well as one on March 2nd.
“I don’t know about rallies. I really don’t know about rallies,” Trump said, a ludicrously false claim. “I know one thing, I haven’t left the White House in months, except for a brief moment to give a wonderful ship, the [USNS] Comfort…”
“You held a rally in March,” Alcindor again said, noting an indisputable fact.
“I don’t know, did I hold a rally?” Trump said, waving his arms in a brazen attempt at ducking reality. “I’m sorry, I hold a rally. Did I hold a rally?”
“Let me tell you, in January, when I did this you had virtually no cases and no deaths and yet I put [the ban] on. So how could I not?” he said before pivoting back to Nancy Pelosi’s outing in San Francisco that took place before his last two campaign rallies.
Watch the video above, via CNN.
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