In a leaked phone call, US president Donald Trump insisted to campaign workers that the public is sick of hearing about the COVID-19 pandemic. And, apparently wholly believing this, he gave the news cycle a better story.
On the same call, President Trump claimed that by not following top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci’s advice, he avoided a death toll in the area of 500,000.
The current death toll of 215,000 is the much-anticipated culmination of months of the White House denying the severity of the virus. They refused to mandate masks. At every level there was total lack of support for workers trying to stay home; Americans received a 1200 USD stimulus cheque in March, and nothing since.
It’s unlikely anyone believed that contracting the coronavirus would change President Trump’s opinion the public health measures of Dr Fauci — whom he called a “disaster” — but it’s troubling to see he still cares not for the trifles of the common man.
In a statement, Joe Biden criticised the president for the attack.
“Americans are tired of your lies about the virus … we need a leader to bring us together, put a plan in place and beat this virus — but you have proven yourself yet again to be incapable of doing that.“
While backtracking on the claims later, President Trump painted Dr Fauci as a vain man who loves to be on television and has “called a lot of bad calls.” Personally, I think saying who that description makes me think of would be a cheap shot.