‘You Should Be Saying Congratulations’: Here Are 116 Times Trump Has Praised His Own Coronavirus Response


On Feb. 28, before any American died from the novel coronavirus, President Donald Trump said the media is in “hysteria mode” and the country was “totally prepared” to handle a Covid-19 pandemic.

More than a month later, Trump has since taken the coronavirus outbreak more seriously, most notably during a March 31 press briefing which garnered praise from CNN’s Jim Acosta, among others. He’s also changed course on the dates of reopening the country, how severe the coronavirus outbreak can be and the number of deaths expected.

But as recorded deaths in the U.S. have surpassed other countries (more than 16,000 Americans have died as of April 9) and hospitals across the nation are struggling to handle a surplus of patients, Trump has continued to praise himself and his administration in the face of increasing scrutiny from the public. In 25 press briefings, four interviews on Fox News, and a series of tweets since March 13, Mediaite found that Trump has lauded his own administration’s response to the Covid-19 outbreak at least 116 times.

It’s led to headlines like “Trump spent 25 percent of his time at Wednesday’s briefing on self-congratulation and placing blame” from the Washington Post, “Trump Turns a Crisis Into His New Nightly TV Show” from Politico, and “Trump shifts tone, says he’s ‘proud’ of Fed amid coronavirus turmoil” from The Hill. It frustrated political opponents and fueled his supporters. And it appears he won’t stop any time soon.

His rationale has derived from two points: That he “inherited a broken, obsolete system” from the Obama administration and then his administration built it up, which experts have claimed is not true.  He’s used this crutch when pointing to high testing numbers and ventilator distribution, even as states have been forced to bid against each other for necessary equipment. Trump’s statements also come when he says he knew how bad the outbreak would be from the start, and how quickly he banned some travel from China. He’s also praised the Covid-19 task force, despite previously disbanding the pandemic response team in 2018 and ending a pandemic early-warning program in 2019

Trump’s self-congratulation has sometimes come second-hand. Almost a dozen times, Trump has recalled instances of governors, like New York’s Andrew Cuomo and California’s Gavin Newsom, praising his response in private. To deflect a question he deemed nasty,” he said the members of the Covid-19 task force “are the best in the world. We are doing a great job.” 

When asked if he has any regrets about his response to Covid-19, Trump simply said on March 23: “I’m looking forward. I don’t look back. I guess there’s always something everybody regrets. There are things in your life you regret. We all regret things. But I really like to look forward.”

It’s worth noting that Trump often congratulates everyone involved in the coronavirus response during these briefings. In some pressers, he’s used the word “incredible” up to 30 times. Whether it’s praising FEMA or Anthony Fauci or Mike Pence, Trump has occasionally attributed this to his optimistic outlook on life.

Several times over the last couple of weeks, Trump has tried to stop himself from making the honor about him and his staff solely. On April 1, he juggled his words, saying, “I mean, we’ve — they’ve done really — the people have done incredibly.” On many other occasions, he’s stayed the course.

He credits his response team like an athlete talking about his teammates, and his opening statements read like a coach’s motivational halftime speech — always positive despite an unfavorable score. But, naturally, Trump makes sure to consistently congratulate himself and his response.

Here’s a comprehensive list of Trump’s comments praising his response to the Covid-19 outbreak over the last month:

March 13 Press Briefing

1. “When you compare what we’ve done to other areas of the world, it’s pretty incredible.”

2. “Tony [Fauci] has said numerous times that we’ve saved thousands of lives because of the quick closing. And when you say ‘me,’ I didn’t do it.”

3. “We’ve done a great job because we acted quickly. We acted early. And there’s nothing we could have done that was better than closing our borders to highly infected areas.”

March 14 Press Briefing

4. “We walked back, I said, ‘So how did that work out?’ They said, ‘Sir, you just set a new record in the history of the stock market.’ So that was pretty good.”

5. “We’re doing things that — that are — that have been really well received.”

March 15 Press Briefing

6. “We’re using the full power of the federal government to defeat the coronavirus, and we will do whatever it takes. And we’re doing, I think, really, really well.”

March 16 Press Briefing

7. “No, I think [Americans] are very scared. They see that we’re doing a very professional job. We’ve been working with the governors and the — frankly, the mayors, local government at every level.”

8. “We did make a good decision; we closed our borders to China very quickly, very rapidly. That was a — that was a — otherwise, we’d be in a very — as Tony has said numerous times, we’d be in a very bad position, much worse than we would be right now.”

9. “I’m saying we are doing a very good job within the confines of what we’re dealing with. We’re doing a very good job.”

10. “We made some very good early decisions by keeping people out, by keeping bor- — countries out — certain countries where the infection was very immense.”

11. “I think that we’ve done a fantastic job from just about every standpoint.”

12. “I’d rate [my response to the crisis] a 10. I think we’ve done a great job. And it started with the fact that we kept a very highly infected country — despite all of the — even the professionals saying, ‘No, it’s too early to do that.'”

13. “We’re doing something that’s never been done in this country. And I think that we are doing very well.”

March 17 Press Briefing

14. “I can say that, with respect to Governor Cuomo, we had a great talk this morning. We’re both doing a really good job.”

15. “I think we’ve done really well. I think we’ve done well. I think the states have done well. We’re all working together.”

16. “I know that when I made the decision to close it to China, people told me that’s never been done before, but it was a great decision. We make good decisions. So, I’ll tell you my best decision: The people behind me are total pros. All over the world, they’re respected.”

17. “There’s going to be nobody better than Donald Trump, in terms of bipartisanship.”

18. “I want it to be bipartisan and nobody’s going to be better than me. But when they attack me or the people — these incredible people behind me — I’m not going to let them get away with that.”

19. “What they said about me — and we’ve done a great job. When you talk about not — not being bipartisan — what they said about me.”

20. “The only thing we haven’t done well is to get good press. We’ve done a fantastic job, but it hasn’t been appreciated.”

21. “I think we’ve done a great job. I think we’ve done a poor job, in terms of press relationship.”

March 18 Press Briefing

22. “I’m looking at it that way because, you know, if — if it got out of control — the big thing we did was a very early stoppage of people coming in who could be very, very heavily infected. And that was a –that was a very good move.”

23. “We had the best economy we’ve ever had. And then, one day, you have to close it down in order to defeat this enemy. And — but we’re doing it, and we’re doing it well.”

24. “I think we’re doing a really good job. We started off with a termination of the border — the people coming in from China, where this all started. That meant I took it very seriously. And when I use the word ‘calm’ — ‘calm’ doesn’t mean that I’m not taking it seriously.”

25. “We have very great approval numbers. I mean, people like the job that we’re doing. And when you compare this to other epidemics, or if you want to use a different term, you can, but within this country — and you look at what’s happened over the years, this is being handled very, very professionally. We have the greatest professionals in the world. We’re doing a good job.”

March 18 on Twitter

26. “95% Approval Rating in the Republican Party, 53% overall. Not bad considering I get nothing but Fake & Corrupt News, day and night.”

March 19 Press Briefing

27. “[The FDA] said that there’s never been a President even close that’s been able to do what I’ve done in slashing all of the red tape and everything to get very important things to the market — medical.”

28. “Last week, it was all chaos. You see me. There’s no chaos. I have no chaos. I’m the one telling everybody to be calm. There’s no chaos at the White House. We have unbelievable professionals.”

29. “We’ve done a phenomenal job on this.”

30. “Andrew Cuomo has been, really, very generous. I mean, they’re saying we’re doing a great job, and everybody saying.”

31. “Someday, hopefully in five years, I won’t be here and that’ll be fine. I will have done, I think, a great job, because I don’t think anyone has done as much in three and a half years as I’ve done.”

March 20 Press Briefing

32. “We’re able to help [governors], and that’s what we’re all about. We want to help. We’re doing things that a lot of people wouldn’t be able to do.”

33. “I happen to feel good about it, but who knows. I’ve been right a lot.”

34. “Well, I can just say the entire world is agreeing with us because they’re all — they all have their choice, and everybody is doing the exact same thing.”

35. “You have some smart leaders in the world. And everybody is doing it the way we’re doing it. I think we’re doing a better job than hopefully most, if not all. We’re doing a very effective job.”

36. “We inherited an obsolete deal and we’ve made a good thing out of it.”

37. “We had to get rid of a broken, old system that didn’t work. It worked only in a very limited basis. And we’re very proud of what we’ve done. It’s incredible what we’ve done.”

38. “We inherited a broken, old — frankly, a terrible system. We fixed it and we’ve done a great job. And we haven’t been given the credit that we deserve.”

39. “Some of you were at the call yesterday where I spoke with the governors — almost all of the governors — and every one of them was very impressed with what we’ve done.”

March 21 Press Briefing

40. “Nobody has ever done what we’ve done.”

41. “We’ve had numerous calls with governors, by the way, but the relationships are pretty amazing. They like — they’re loving what we’re doing.”

42. When asked about masks, Trump said, “We’ve also gotten tremendous reviews from a lot of people that can’t believe how fast it’s coming.”

43. “Now we’re making tens of millions of masks and other things. And I think it’s unprecedented what we’ve done and what we’re doing. And many doctors — and I’ve read many, many doctors, they can’t believe the great job that we’ve done.”

44. “I just read an article yesterday that, by closing the country down so early — we were very early — we saved tens of thousands — and much more than that — lives. So you know, you might want to report that, too.”

45. “I didn’t act late; I acted early. I acted far before anybody thought I should be. I took tremendous criticism from the various papers, from many of the papers.”

46. “We inherited an obsolete, broken system. And when you hear the number of tests that we’ll be providing — and are now — it’s incredible. And I’ve heard a lot of governors say the same thing.”

47. “We’ve also gotten tremendous reviews from a lot of people that can’t believe how fast [the masks are] coming.”

March 22 Press Briefing

48. “I spoke with all three of the governors today, and — just a little while ago – and they’re very happy with what we’re going to be doing.”

49. “We inherited a broken, obsolete system. It was good for a small number of people, but not good for the millions of people that we’re talking about. And we’ve made this into a system that, no matter where you go in the world, that’s where they’re going, that’s what they want to do, that’s how they’re going to be doing it should something like this happen again. So our people have done a fantastic job. Really, a fantastic job.”

50. “Well, I took a lot of calls. And we really didn’t get one nasty or bad response. They were thanking us for the job we did.”

51. “When you look at the job we’re doing — and all you have to do is look at the approval numbers on the job we’re doing. I think we’re doing an incredible job.”

52. “It cost me billions of dollars to be President and I am so happy I did it. Because who cares? Who cares? I’m really happy with the job we’re doing. And I’m glad that this team and me are here for this horrible thing. I mean, it’s — a number of people have said it, but — and I feel it, actually: I’m a wartime president.”

March 23 Press Briefing

53. “I think we’re doing a very good job of it. If you look at other countries, what they’ve been through, and you look at the kind of numbers and compare them to ours — which is a much larger country than most — the numbers are pretty amazing.”

54. “I think that we’ve handled it really well. It seems to be — the American public thinks that we’ve handled it well, if you look at polling data.”

March 23 on Twitter

55. “[The New York Times meant the opposite? Forgot to mention that I closed our Country to China (and Europe) very early, long before it was considered acceptable to do so. Sleepy Joe said I was “xenophobic”, but I saved thousands of lives! Fake News!”

56. “The Hill/HarrisX: 61% to 39% Approval Rating on handling of Coronavirus situation. Thank you!”

Fox News virtual town hall on March 24

57. “Probably tens of thousands would be dead right now if I didn’t make that decision. And I must say, doctors — nobody wanted to make that decision at the time. It was very, very early. Call it luck or call it talent; it doesn’t matter. We made a great decision.”

58. “No, I think we’re doing very well. But, you know, it’s a two-way street. They have to treat us well also. They can’t say, “Oh gee, we should get this, we should get that.” We’re doing a great job, like in New York.”

59. “When you say I took a lot of heat for that essentially, I really didn’t.  I mean, a lot of people agree with me.”

March 24 Press Briefing

60. “What we’re doing in New York to try and help, and I think we’re doing an incredible job.”

March 25 Press Briefing

61. “Nobody could have ever seen something like this coming, but now we know, and we know it can happen and happen again. And if it does, somebody is going to be very well prepared because of what we’ve learned and how we’ve done. It’s been incredible, how we’ve done.”

62. “It’s hard not to be happy with the job we’re doing — that, I can tell you.”

63. “We’re the ones that gave the great response, and we’re the ones that kept China out of here. And if I didn’t do it, you’d have thousands and thousands of people died — who would’ve died — that are now living and happy.”

Interview with Sean Hannity on March 26

64. “I don’t like it, though, when some governors, I mean, I mentioned two of them but some of these governors, you know, they — they take, take, take and then they complain. They take and you do a great job.”

March 26 Press Briefing

65. “We got very lucky when we made a decision not to allow people in from China at a very early date. I say that because some people don’t want to accept it. But this was a great decision made by our country, or there’s — the numbers that you’re talking about — we’re a big country; they’d be far greater, far bigger.”

66. “I think they think we’re doing a really good job, in terms of running this whole situation, having to do with the virus. I think they feel that — I think they feel the administration — myself and the administration — are doing a good job with people — keeping, very importantly, people informed.”

67. “Asian Americans in our country are doing fantastically well. I’m very close to them, as you know, and they’re doing fantastically well. And I think they appreciate the job we’re doing.”

March 27 Press Briefing

68. “The governors have been very gracious for the most part, I would say. There are a couple that aren’t appreciative of the incredible job. They have to do a better job themselves; that’s part of the problem.”

69. “I think if you ask, Governor Murphy of New Jersey, ‘How are we doing?’ I think he’d say, ‘Great.’ I think. He’s a Democrat. Governor Cuomo has really said we’re really doing a great job. ”

70. “A couple of people aren’t [appreciative]. We have done a hell of a job; the federal government has really stepped up.”

71. “I’ve had governors tell me, including Democrat governors — they said, ‘We can’t believe you’ve been able to do this.’”

March 29 Press Briefing

72. “The people of New York are very happy. Governor Cuomo expressed his thanks, which we appreciate. But these are — I mean, there’s nobody could have done a job like that. Most people have never seen anything like it.”

73. “We’re working on [a vaccine] at a level that people would be amazed.”

74. “Something we did very well is, when we stopped the inflow from China at a very early level, that was a good thing to do, a great thing to do. We would have had thousands and thousands of more deaths. And we also stopped the inflow from Europe at a very early level. But those things were very important, especially the initial one, because we had never done anything like it, where we closed our borders to a country like that.”

75. “We have between 100- and 200,000 [deaths] — we all, together, have done a very good job.”

76. “I’ll tell you what: If you had a different administration, they would not have been happy. These are people that speak their mind. They were happy. It was falsely reported by a couple of people that, ‘Oh, gee, they weren’t’ — they were happy. They were thrilled.”

77. “I think you’re going to find most states are very happy. I’m dealing with the Governor of Louisiana, John Bel Edwards. He’s a Democrat — if that’s what you’re getting at. But I’m dealing with him very successfully. I think he’s very happy. I think he’s actually amazed at what he’s been able to get.”

78. “We built 2,900 hospital rooms, beds. Nobody has ever seen it before. The governor has never seen anything like that before. This was done by federal government, not by state government. This was done by the federal government.”

79. “We’re very proud of the job we’ve done. We’ve mobilized and getting better and better every day.”

80. “I mean, it’s pretty amazing what we’ve done.”

81. “I want them to appreciate the incredible job we’re doing. We are doing a job the likes of which has never been done before. And there are a couple of people that know that, but for political reasons — let’s say they’re Democrats; they don’t want to give this administration credit, and that’s okay. But I don’t have to deal with them, but our Vice President does deal with them.”

82. “We’re getting the word out. We’re getting the accurate word out. And a lot of people are happy about it, and a lot of people aren’t. But they should be happy.”

March 30 Press Briefing

83. “[Governors] were saying thank you for doing a great job. And we discussed that at the end of the call. So it really — people are very happy with what we’re doing. Now, the circumstances are so terrible because of what’s going on, but I think they’re very impressed by the federal government.”

84. “Governor Cuomo was impressed and Gavin Newsom was impressed by what we’ve been doing with Gavin in California and the Los Angeles area in particular, but really San Francisco. All over. All over California.”

85. “We’ve just gotten better. We’re doing things that nobody else ever thought of.”

86. “We’re working on that hidden enemy, and I think we’re doing a great job on — as good a job as you can possibly do.”

87. “We have done an incredible job. The economy is going to come back. My focus is saving lives. That’s the only focus I can have.”

88. “You should be saying congratulations instead of asking a really snarky question, because I know exactly what you mean by that.”

Interview on Fox & Friends on March 31

89. “One of the reasons [Cuomo’s] numbers are high on handling it is because of the Federal government. Because we give him ships, and we give him ventilators, and we give him all of the things that we’re giving him”

March 31 Press Briefing

90. “I appreciate a lot of the media. We’ve had a lot of really good things said. I think only good things can be said when you look at the job that’s been done.”

91. “They’ll say, ‘How’s Trump doing?’ And you’re a Democrat. Some of them said, ‘Really good.’ I’ll tell you, Gavin Newsom, from California — who is doing a good job, by the way — and others said, ‘Really good.’ But, you know, generally, your natural reflex — ‘How’s Trump doing?’ You ask that question to a Democrat. ‘Uh, well, uh, we don’t like it.’ ‘Oh, really? You don’t like it?’ We’re getting very high marks.”

92. “I don’t think anybody did a better job than that, especially when you see the 2.2, million number.”

93. “It is a fair question. I think we’ve done a fantastic job.”

94. “In the last less than a week, three governors call up that truly have disliked me over the years — even before I decided to run for President — and they said, ‘I have to tell you, you’ve done a great job. You and your team have done a great job.’”

March 31 on Twitter

95. “‘New York Governor Cuomo says President Trump has been “very helpful.’ @foxandfriends Thank you, everybody is working very hard!”

April 2 Press Briefing

96. “We’re a backup. We’re not an ordering clerk. We’re a backup. And we’ve done an unbelievable job.”

97. “We’ve been an unbelievable — we’ve done an unbelievable job.”

98. When asked about governors reaction to Trump’s response, he said, “I’ve seen them and heard them say, ‘Thank you very much. You have done a great job.’ ‘A fantastic job,’ in one case. ‘Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.’ Then I’ll see the governor, usually of the opposite party. In almost all cases, except maybe one — but in almost all cases, they’re very generous, they’re very nice. They thank me. Everything is great. We’re doing a great job.”

April 3 Press Briefing

99. “Most people have said — now, and I said this yesterday — governors have said, ‘Thank you very much. Great job.; If they’re a Democrat governor — in some cases; not in all cases at all — if I said, ‘Here’s 1,000 ventilators. How many do you want?’ ‘We want 1,000.’ ‘Here’s 1,000. You got ’em. But you know what we’re going to do? We’re going to add another 5,000. Is that good?” They said, ‘Wow, that’s great.’ And then, if Jim Acosta goes and says, ‘Are you happy with the President?’ ‘No, he should have given us 10,000.’ That’s what’s happening.”

April 4 Press Briefing

100. “I was called ‘xenophobic,’ ‘racist.’ I was called many things when I did that very early. And I got a lot of credit for it in the Federalist. Because The Federalist covered the whole journey. And they said Trump was — I didn’t speak to the author — respected author. They said, ‘Trump was right at every single move. And on top of that, he was going through a fake impeachment,’ a hoax. I was going through a hoax, when I made the decision.”

101. “I’m just saying they — a lot of the states had chances of stockpiling a lot of ventilators. They didn’t do it. And I think we’re doing a very good job in helping them out.”

April 5 Press Briefing

102. “You know, we’ve had some unbelievable results. Unbelievable results.”

103. “If I didn’t, I would not be — I would not be very thrilled with what we’ve done. No, I see light at the end of the tunnel. “

April 6 Press Briefing

104. “I understand there wasn’t a negative person on the call. Fifty governors — or just about fifty governors — I think they were all on, from what I understood. And they were very positive about everything their federal government has been doing for them. And you’ll hear what that is, and it’s — it’s rather amazing, actually.”

105. “I heard from other people that were on the call; they said it was incredible. It was two hours, and it was — everything was positive. They were so happy with what we’ve done.”

106. “We can move quickly. As soon as we see that need, we can move very quickly. We’re ready to march. We built a great system.”

107. “People should respect — because nobody has ever seen anything like what we’ve done. And what they end up — what — forget about me; don’t worry about me.”

108. “We got artificially stopped by a virus that nobody ever thought possible. And we’ve handled it, and we’ve built a team, and we’ve built an apparatus that’s been unbelievable.”

109. “Everybody is amazed at the job we’re doing. And the public is starting to find out. They’re starting — you know, one of the reasons I do these news conferences — because if I didn’t, they would believe fake news.”

April 7 Press Briefing

110. “We closed it down; had no choice. It was a good move. That was a good move. The early China move was a good move. The early Europe move was a good move. Made a lot of good moves.”

111. “[Governors are] very happy. I don’t know if they tell that to the press. Some of them don’t. Some of them will never say good to the press, but they know we’ve done a great job.”

Interview with Sean Hannity on April 7

112. “I didn’t listen to [WHO]. I did what I had to do, and it was a good move.”

113. “It’s turning out I’m right because [New York] wanted 40,000 ventilators, 40,000, and they don’t need anywhere near that. And we said that.”

April 8 Press Briefing

114. “People were shocked that I acted so quickly.”

115. “I think we all did a very good job, even though it’s a lot of people.”

116. “People are watching us and seeing what we’re doing, and they’re very impressed.”

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