Donald Trump really, really, really doesn’t want people to worry about the coronavirus. He seems to think that if he can con Americans into thinking there’s nothing to worry about, it’ll… somehow magically lead to his reelection? You can see how desperate this strategy is, if there’s even a strategy at all. For all we know, Trump may simply be clinically incapable of admitting that this virus has entered the United States on his watch.
Whatever his motivation or compulsion, Trump is spreading such alarming disinformation, we’re not sure where to start. Last night he called in to the Sean Hannity show and said that people who are infected with the coronavirus should keep going to work. Yep, he really said this. To be clear, if anyone follows this terrible advice, they’ll be infecting everyone they work with, who will then go home and infect everyone they interact with, all but guaranteeing that some of the people involved will die.
Trump also made up some fake numbers about the fatality rate of the coronavirus. To be clear, he’s not simply misinformed; he’s now lowered the number since the last time he got it wrong, meaning he’s getting it wrong on purpose. This can only possibly serve to make things even worse for Trump. Even if only his own most gullible supporters follow this advice, they’ll spread the coronavirus at such a rapid pace in the United States, the results will be catastrophic – and it’ll blow back on Trump politically in a huge way.
Donald Trump now appears to be so desperate to keep the stock market from collapsing in the short term, he’s telling insane lies aimed at preventing a panic. But he’s only going to make this all much worse – and by election time, it’ll be painfully clear to everyone that Trump was completely full of it, and that he’ll have gotten Americans killed.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report