Throughout the national health crisis that's killed 160 thousand Americans and left millions more unemployed, President Donald Trump has frequently drawn parallels between the current pandemic and the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic that killed millions.
Trump—incorrectly referring to it as the 1917 pandemic—did so again in a press briefing on Monday.
The President says the “1917 pandemic” ended the Second World War https://t.co/jSltuSYim2— Acyn (@Acyn)1597099813.0
Trump made a startling claim about the 1918 flu, saying:
"In 1917 they say, right, the great pandemic certainly was a terrible thing where they lost anywhere from 50 to 100 million people. Probably ended the Second World War. All of the soldiers were sick."
The flu epidemic ended in 1920, decades before World War II, though Trump probably meant World War I, where some have speculated that the epidemic helped secure victory for the allies.
Some said that under this President, the American public couldn't be sure it was just a simple mistake.
If he were someone else, you could call this an honest mistake. But this is the same person who couldn't pronounce… https://t.co/YjiT3QhQPZ— The Daily Beast (@The Daily Beast)1597147206.0
Twitter soon began roasting him.
@Acyn The history department at Trump University was severely underfunded.— Twice-Impeached, One-Term Trumpy (parody) (@Twice-Impeached, One-Term Trumpy (parody))1597102111.0
@Acyn If Biden had said this, it would be a Trump campaign commercial for like, a decade.— Andrew Disque (@Andrew Disque)1597100144.0
@Acyn I love how his advisers think these press conferences are good for his campaign 😂— Tim (@Tim)1597100211.0
@Acyn I still can't get over how it keeps saying 1917. Surely someone has corrected it by now.— Love And Dynamite (@Love And Dynamite)1597100312.0
@Acyn He has claimed that the 1918 pandemic happened in 1917 about a dozen times now. He had previously referred to… https://t.co/YQxulLvDbB— Michael A. Serio (@Michael A. Serio)1597100559.0
Some used the gaffe as yet another example of why Trump isn't fit for the Oval Office.
Several reminded others that his error could be indicative of a lack of foreign policy knowledge as a key world leader.
It's unclear if Trump—who rarely if ever admits to mistakes—would chalk this up to a case of misspeaking or double down and insist that a flu that ended in 1920 helped end World War II.