President Donald Trump went full conspiracy theory about Democrats’ alarm over COVID-19, aka the deadly coronavirus, on Friday night.
During a campaign rally in North Charleston, South Carolina, Trump accused Democrats of “politicizing” the disease by criticizing his shoddy handling of the outbreak.
“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,'” he told the crowd, saying that “it’s all turning.”
Then Trump declared: “And this is their new hoax.”
He added that he and his administration “did something that’s been pretty amazing” in response to the 15 cases of the virus in the U.S.
“We have 15 people in this massive country, and because of the fact that we went early, we went early, we could’ve had a lot more than that,” he said.
It wasn’t the first time the word “hoax” was bandied about in Trumpland with regards to the coronavirus; White House Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney had complained earlier on Friday that the media was trying to tear down Trump with its coverage of the disease because the impeachment “hoax” had failed to do so. However, Mulvaney did not directly call the coronavirus itself a hoax.
Several hours later, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo refused to answer Rep. Ted Lieu’s (D-CA) query whether he believed the coronavirus was “the hoax of the day.”
“The State Department is doing everything it can to protect American citizens around the world,” Pompeo told Lieu.
Watch Trump below:
Trump claims the coronavirus is Democrats' "new hoax." pic.twitter.com/oYfH59b75u
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) February 29, 2020