Almost immediately after news broke that President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump had been diagnosed with COVID-19, the doubt began to spread: Can we really believe the President?
Soon, some on the web felt they had uncovered the President’s masterstroke: Faking his COVID diagnosis.
“He’s lying,” Chance the Rapper said bluntly on Twitter.
The genius, three-dimensional-chess move could allow the President to perpetrate any number of schemes, social media commentators mused. Filmmaker Michael Moore, for his part, reminded his Facebook followers of the “one absolute truth about Trump: He is a consistent, absolute, unrelenting, fearless, and professional liar.
Moore posited that while Trump is “probably” actually sick, he might just as well be trying to “change the conversation about this campaign.”
Trump could be feigning illness in order to showcase the release of a COVID-19 vaccine, Moore mused, or he could use the diagnosis to delay or postpone the election.
Trump might also use the illness to drop out of the race and put Vice President Mike Pence at the top of the presidential ticket, Moore wrote, “and then Pence could pre-emptively pardon Trump for all of his crimes.”
For some, including writer and strategist Cheri Jacobus, the administration just couldn’t be trusted to deliver the news.
Until we hear from Walter Reed, I am skeptical. This White House cannot be trusted. https://t.co/6cUqE83ZJS
— Cheri Jacobus (@CheriJacobus) October 2, 2020
“It’s understandable people feel skeptical,” journalist Steven Bechloss added.
I am not entertaining conspiracy theories, not about Trump’s diagnosis, QAnon or otherwise. But Trump is a pathological liar, we never got the truth of why he went to Walter Reed months ago nor ever about his actual physical health. It’s understandable people feel skeptical.
— Steven Beschloss (@StevenBeschloss) October 2, 2020
The moochman himself, former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci, sought to inject some order into the discussion just before 8 a.m. ET Friday, during a CNN interview.
“Somebody said to me this morning, ‘Well, maybe he doesn’t have it, maybe he’s looking for sympathy,” Scaramucci recalled. “No, that’s not true.”
“I’m sure he has it, because there’s no way he would want to isolate himself for 14 days if he didn’t have it.”