Donald Trump has repeatedly lied and downplayed the seriousness of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, but took time during a press conference on Monday to give himself a glowing review regardless.
“I’d rate it a ten,” Trump said, responding to reporter questions about how he would rank his administration’s efforts so far. “I think we’ve done a great job.”
Trump then touted his early response to the crisis by restricting travel from China and praised the work of professionals in his administration, who he said, “have done a great job.”
Trump’s self-evaluation is markedly different from most Americans, who disapprove of the way Trump is handling the outbreak, according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll published on Sunday.
In that poll, 51 percent of Americans more broadly said they disapprove of Trump’s response, while 45 percent said they approved.
Some 81 percent of Republicans approved of Trump’s response.
Throughout the crisis, Trump has regularly shared inaccurate information and lied to the American public.
In a March 11 primetime address to the nation, Trump said that he would implement a complete ban on travel from Europe, wrongly stated trade and cargo from Europe would be halted, and falsely declared that antiviral therapies would soon be available. Americans in Europe were in fact free to travel back to the United States and there was no ban on trade from Europe, nor was there any indication that antiviral therapies would be available soon.
Earlier, on Feb. 28, Trump downplayed the seriousness of the global outbreak by placing the blame on Democrats.
“The Democrats are politicizing the coronavirus,” he claimed at a South Carolina campaign rally. “One of my people came up to me and said ‘Mr. President they tried to beat you on Russia, Russia, Russia. That didn’t work out too well.’ They couldn’t do it. They tried the impeachment hoax that was on a perfect conversation.”
“This is their new hoax,” he added.
Two weeks later, Trump declared a national emergency over the outbreak.
At a Feb. 27 briefing, one day prior to his campaign rally comments, Trump said that there were only 15 confirmed cases in the United States and that, “The 15, within a couple of days, is going to be down to close to zero, that’s a pretty good job we’ve done.”
On March 16, less than three weeks after Trump made that prediction, the New York Times reported 3,927 confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States, and at least 68 deaths from the COVID-19 disease it causes.
This week’s NBC News poll also showed Trump losing to both former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders in the 2020 presidential election. The poll showed Trump specifically trailing Biden by a 52-43 margin and Sanders by a 49-45 margin.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.