For months, President Donald Trump assured Americans the coronavirus would “miraculously” disappear, particularly as the weather got warmer in April. Now audio has emerged of him admitting he knew how serious the pandemic was, and that it was more deadly than the flu, but deliberately chose to downplay it.
“The question with Trump is always: is he deluded or is he lying?” said Late Night host Seth Meyers on Thursday. “Obviously the answer is often both, but in this particular case it turns out Trump wasn’t just in denial. He did know the truth about the coronavirus, and he lied about it.”
Speaking to journalist Bob Woodward in the recordings, Trump claimed he wanted to minimise the pandemic because he didn’t want people to panic.
“Well congrats dude, you nailed it,” said Meyers. “Aside from a once in a century economic crash that’s threatened the health and livelihoods of millions of people, not to mention lines at food banks and fights in supermarket aisles over toilet paper, everybody’s super chill. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go wash my face mask and microwave my mail.”
Meyers also targeted Fox News for repeating Trump’s claim that he was trying to keep people calm. Considering the president’s past behaviour, the Late Night host found this explanation rather unconvincing.
“Oh yeah, totally, Trump’s the picture of calm and poise,” Meyers said sarcastically. “He’s spent the last four years claiming caravans of migrants were coming to kill everyone and airplanes full of mysterious black-clad thugs were flying cross-country to burn down cities. He’s the human embodiment of yelling ‘fire’ in a crowded theatre. Of course, nowadays you can cause a panic by yelling ‘crowded theatre.'”