WASHINGTON, D.C. — It’s no big secret that President Donald Trump has spent a lot of time trying to frame his administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak in a positive light. Trump has attempted to get the nation to focus on things like ventilator production and the number of tests completed instead of the fact that the United States has seen over 200,000 Americans die from complications arising from a coronavirus infection, or the millions of Americans still out of a job.
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During a press conference from the White House yesterday, Trump took his attempts to spin his response to COVID-19 in a way that makes him look good took yet another turn. President Trump tried to argue that if one simply doesn’t take “blue” states into account, the entire country’s coronavirus numbers would look much better. Blue states are states that select the Democratic candidate in presidential elections, while red states are ones that choose the Republican, Trump’s own party.
You can see Trump make his eyebrow-raising argument, below:
Praising his own virus response as deaths near 200,000, Trump says, "if you take the blue states out, we're at a level I don't think anybody in the world would be at." pic.twitter.com/ezAU5IJIcQ
— The American Independent (@AmerIndependent) September 16, 2020
Many commentators on social media have pointed out that even if one were to remove the numbers of blue states from the nation’s total, that the United States would still have the second highest death count per capita in the world. Not one to back down from a statement once he’s made it, however, this morning President Trump not only reiterated what he said last night, he added another layer to his argument.
Other states with a high number of deaths include Texas, a red state, and Florida, a battleground. Those states are also among the nation’s most populous.
The picture is slightly different when normalized for population: New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts had among the highest death rates per 100,000 people, according to Johns Hopkins University. But red states and battlegrounds, such as Louisiana, Mississippi, Arizona and Michigan were also in the top ten. (USA Today)
“Don’t tell me I’m not right about this! You all know I’m right. You won’t report on it because you’re fake news,” Trump shouted at reporters in the Oval Office, “but I’m right about this. If you take out the blue states from our stats, we look much, much bigly better! Don’t blame me for telling the truth.”
Last week, veteran journalist Bob Woodward published a new book in which he details more than 15 interviews he conducted with President Trump. Of particular note and concern was an interview from earlier in the year in which Trump admitted that he was downplaying the virus. Trump defended those comments after they were published in news reports in part by claiming he didn’t want to cause too much undue panic among the American people.
“All I’m saying is that as a Republican of course I believe that all lives matter,” Trump explained to the reporters. “All lives matter. I really truly believe that. All lives matter, except in blue states.”
A quiet fell over the room.
“That’s right, I said it. The bottom line, and the Constitution is very clear on this I’m told by Billy Barr,” Trump said, “I only have to care about and serve the Americans and the states that elected me. Anyone else can fuck off. Seriously, it says it right in the Constitution, or whatever! It says, like, ‘All the Never-Trumpers can fuck off.’ Go look it up if you don’t believe me!”
Writer/comedian James Schlarmann is the founder of The Political Garbage Chute and his work has been featured on The Huffington Post. You can follow James on Facebook, Spotify, and Instagram, but not Twitter because Twitter is a cesspool.