WATCH: Is Trump’s ‘Herd Mentality’ Gaffe Really a Gaffe if He’s Done it Three Times?
President Donald Trump set social media ablaze when he referred to the epidemiological phenomenon of “herd immunity” as a “herd mentality” during a town hall meeting, but this is apparently a “gaffe” that he makes all the time.
During Tuesday night’s ABC News town hall, Trump had an exchange with moderator George Stephanopoulos in which he defended his repeated claims that the coronavirus will just go away.
“It would go away without the vaccine, George, but it’s going to go away a lot faster,” Trump said.
“It would go away without the vaccine?” Stephanopoulos said, to which Trump replied “Sure, with time.”
“And many deaths,” Stephanopoulos added.
“And you’ll develop a herd mentality,” Trump said.
The moment garnered copious attention on Twitter, where it became a trending topic and prompted amused to horrified reactions.
Donald Trump battles the English language in an attempt to let voters know he now supports herd immunity (3 million US deaths) as the solution to COVID:
“You’re going to develop, you’re going to develop herd mentality; it’s going to be, going to be herd developed.” https://t.co/vJVp0kcyFF
— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) September 16, 2020
This is the key point. Everyone on Twitter is mocking Trump’s misstatement (“herd mentality” v “herd immunity”). That’s a goof.
But if Trump’s strategy is to simply let the virus “run its course,” that could mean 2m deaths in the next 12 months. That’s the real headline. https://t.co/RxeTWUMDfl
— Ronald Klain (@RonaldKlain) September 16, 2020
Herd immunity is 2 million dead Americans. I have no idea what the fuck herd mentality is but it sounds like it starts with a red hat and a moron.
— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) September 16, 2020
Herd mentality pic.twitter.com/WMBSUYI22q
— Frank Whaley (@TheFrankWhaley) September 16, 2020
— Grant Stern (@grantstern) September 16, 2020
Herd Mentality: pic.twitter.com/XEgmWlwhS5
— Morgan J. Freeman (@mjfree) September 16, 2020
But as at least one user pointed out, this is not the first time that Trump has made this particular gaffe, it’s the third — that we know of.
At two coronavirus task force briefings in April — one of them literally on April Fool’s Day — Trump used the term to describe, unfavorably, the phenomenon he now seems to see as the ultimate solution.
From April 1:
We had no choice. We did the right thing. Other countries tried to use the herd — or the herd mentality. It’s just, you know, something that doesn’t work. If you look at — I mean, just to say, I heard Sweden gave it a shot, and they went — they saw things that were really frightening and they went immediately to shutting down the country.
From April 17:
And we could have lost more than 2 million people. We could have lost more than 2 million. It could have been much more than that, by the way. We have one that says from 1.6 to 2.2, but it could have really been more than that. But I looked at one in particular — one country in particular that is using the herd mentality, and not working out very well.
Watch the clips above via The White House.
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