On April 14 AEST, United States President Donald Trump held a press conference totalling two hours and 23 minutes
On April 21 AEST, he finished the day’s briefing with an eight and a half minute uninterrupted monologue covering Nancy Pelosi, the media and for five full minutes, he repeated how millions would have died from COVID-19 without his leadership.
Plus, sandwiched in between those conferences, held a week apart, Trump said a lot more.
Some of it isn’t true. Some of it doesn’t make sense. Some more is just downright dangerous.
Let’s keep it simple, with a list of the most ridiculous things to come out of the mouth of Donald Trump in just the past seven days:
“So we have the biggest economy, the greatest economy we have ever had, the highest employment numbers, the best employment numbers, best unemployment numbers, also, the best of everything.”
On April 14, Trump said the United States economy was the best it had ever been, which is incorrect. He then went on the say the US has the best of everything. But it doesn’t have TimTams, so that’s objectively false.
- “And I said, China, you can’t come in, I’m sorry, because I saw what was going on. It wasn’t so much what I was told. It was that I saw what was going on. And I didn’t like it.”
In the same press conference Trump claimed no expert told him to limit travel from China but he did it based on his own smarts.
- “But nobody’s asking for ventilators.”
Lots – lots – of people are asking for ventilators.
- “Let me just say, very simply, I will put it very simply – the president of the United States has the authority to do what the president has the authority to do which is very powerful. The president of the United States calls the shots.”
- “But no, [governors] can’t do anything without the approval of the president of the United States.”
- “When somebody is the president of the United States, the authority is total. And that’s the way it’s got to be.”
- “The authority of the president of the United States having to do with the subject we’re talking about is total.”
These four quotes, all said during the April 14 briefing (it was more than two hours long, remember, there’s a lot to cover) are all incorrect. And scary.
- “You’re going to see. I don’t want to tell you now, but right now, we have a very strong indication that we know pretty much, we have some good ideas.”
A very informative, very decisive way to end a press conference.
- “Liberate Minnesota!”
- “Liberate Michigan!”
- “Liberate Virginia, and save your great 2nd Amendment. It is under siege!”
Trump tweeted these during a Twitter storm on April 18. The exclamations were met with swift disapproval from commentators and governors, who were already dealing with protests and dissent within their states about social distancing measures.
Washington governor Jay Inslee told ABC News Trump’s message was “dangerous”.
“I don’t know any other way to characterise it,” Inslee said, expressing disbelief at seeing the “president of the United States basically encourage insubordination” against laws “designed to protect people’s health”.
“It is dangerous because it can inspire people to ignore things that actually can save their lives,” he said.