In the waning days of his reelection campaign, President Donald Trump is writing Covid-19 checks that his administration can’t cash.
At a rally in Florida on Thursday afternoon, Trump said this of the coronavirus:
“You know the bottom line, though? You’re gonna get better. You’re gonna get better. If I can get better, anybody can get better. And I got better fast.”
First of all, Trump is not just anyone. As I’ve documented before, his treatment after a coronavirus diagnosis earlier this month was not the sort of thing the average person can expect or even hope for. (Total cost of Trump’s care as estimated by The New York Times? $100,000.)
Second off, Trump is not a medical doctor. So any guidance he provides about your chances of recovery if you do get Covid-19 are roughly equivalent to me telling you the same thing. In other words, don’t give it too much credence.
Third, and most importantly, all of the data makes abundantly clear that you can actually die from the coronavirus. As in, not everyone is “gonna get better.”
When Trump uttered this false promise on Thursday, more than 228,000 Americans had died from the disease. Yes, that is a fraction of the 8.9 million who have caught and recovered from Covid-19. But the deaths are still staggering.
And there’s lots of evidence to suggest things will get worse before they get better. More than 74,000 Americans a day right now are coming down with the coronavirus, and 41 states have seen an increase of at least 10% in cases versus last week.
Given all of that, Trump’s insistence that we are “rounding the corner” on the virus is nonsensical. As is his assertion today that even if you do get Covid-19 you’re “gonna get better” because, well, he did.
But it’s more than nonsensical. It’s dangerous. Because it gives Trump’s most loyal supporters a deeply false sense of security about the virus and its potential effects. And that leads to behaviors that spread the very same virus.
The Point: Donald Trump is making these outlandish claims about Covid-19 because he knows he can’t win an election where people have the pandemic at the top of their minds. Unfortunately, many of his supporters don’t seem to get that – and take his (false) word as the gospel truth.