During a campaign rally in Omaha, Nebraska late Tuesday—his third crowded and largely maskless rally of the day—President Donald Trump characterized his administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic as a success and claimed the United States is in “great shape” just as the nation reported a record 500,000 new Covid-19 cases over the past week.
“You notice the fake news now, right? All they talk about is Covid, Covid, Covid, Covid, Covid, and we’ve made such progress, it’s incredible,” the president told his tightly packed audience as the virus continues to spread rapidly across the U.S., causing hospitalizations to rise in dozens of states and pushing the nation’s death toll above 226,000.
Trump conceded that cases are on the rise in the Midwest but predicted, without a shred of supporting evidence, that “they’ll go down” in two weeks.
The New York Times reported Tuesday that “on a per-capita basis, the Upper Midwest and Mountain West continue to face the worst of the latest surge. A field hospital at the Wisconsin state fairgrounds has started accepting patients. Idaho is averaging around 900 cases each day, up from about 260 in mid-September. Five percent of all North Dakotans have now tested positive for the virus, the highest rate of any state.”
"You notice the fake news now, right? All they talk about is Covid, Covid, Covid. Covid, Covid, and we've made such progress, it's incredible," Trump claims, as the US sets records for most single-day new cases pic.twitter.com/13w8CvpUB1
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 28, 2020
The president’s flippant dismissal of the ongoing surge in coronavirus cases nationwide came just hours after the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy issued a lengthy report detailing the Trump administration’s purported first-term scientific accomplishments.
Listed among the White House’s achievements was “decisive action” toward “ending coronavirus pandemic”—triumphant rhetoric that lawmakers and other observers denounced as “propaganda” aimed at boosting the president’s image ahead of the November election.
As HuffPost‘s Chris D’Angelo noted, “Tuesday’s self-congratulatory release underscores that the administration has simultaneously surrendered to the pandemic while trying desperately to steer public attention away from its failure to control the spread.”
On Sunday, as Common Dreams reported, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows declared that the U.S. is “not going to control the pandemic” because “it is a contagious virus,” remarks that were viewed as further confirmation that the Trump administration has abandoned even its woefully inadequate efforts to stop the spread of Covid-19.
Pointing to some of the president’s recent egregious comments about the pandemic—including his false claim that the U.S. is “rounding the corner” in the fight against the virus—Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said Tuesday that “Trump’s anti-science attitude is why 225,000 Americans are dead and why the pandemic is surging nationwide.”
“We need a president who believes in science, not right-wing rhetoric,” Sanders added.