Trump Warns Coronavirus Is ‘Not the Flu’ at Briefing, Weeks After Comparing the Two
President Donald Trump shifted tone at his coronavirus press conference on Tuesday evening in The White House briefing room, hammering home that the coronavirus is “not the flu” – while over a month ago in late February, the president was billing COVID-19 as just “like a flu.”
Trump also shared a story that one of his friends was in a coma after contracting COVID-19.
Trump began, “I think we’re doing better than that. I think we have to see, but I think we’re doing better than that because, as John said, that would be a lot of lives taking place over a relatively short period of time.”
“But think of what would have happened if we didn’t do anything. I mean, I’ve had many friends, business people, people with great actually common sense, they said why don’t we ride it out. A lot of people have thought about it. Ride it out. Don’t do anything. Just ride it out and think of it as the flu.”
“But it’s not the flu. It’s vicious,” Trump added.
Trump then told a story about one of his friends who’s in a coma after contracting the coronavirus.
“When you send a friend to the hospital and you call up to find out how is he doing, it happened to me, where goes to the hospital, he says goodbye, sort of a tough guy. A little older, a little heavier than he’d like to be, frankly, and you call up the next day how is he doing, and he is in a coma? This is not the flu,” Trump continued.
“We would see the same things had we done nothing. For a long while, people were asking that question. I was asking it also. A lot of people were saying well, let’s just ride it out. This is not to be ridden out because then you would be looking at potentially 2.2 million people or more. 2.2 million people in a relatively short period of time.”
CNN’s Daniel Dale highlighted on Twitter that Trump as, of February 26, touted that the coronavirus was just like the flu.
“This is a flu. This is like a flu,” Trump stated over a month ago, “I mean, view this the same as the flu.”
Trump February 26: “This is a flu. This is like a flu.” “I mean, view this the same as the flu.”
Trump today: “A lot of people” said, “Ride it out. Don’t do anything, just ride it out and think of it as the flu.’ But it’s not the flu. It’s vicious.”
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) March 31, 2020
He also tweeted this comparison earlier this month:
So last year 37,000 Americans died from the common Flu. It averages between 27,000 and 70,000 per year. Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on. At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus, with 22 deaths. Think about that!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 9, 2020
Watch above, via MSNBC.
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]