President Donald Trump's daily press briefings regarding the pandemic that's killed tens of thousands of Americans and upended daily life in the United States are all too often fraught with misinformation.
Even the Conservative editorial board of The Wall Street Journal admits that Americans are forced to listen carefully for information from experts in between Trump's constant bloviation about his television ratings and his incessant berating of reporters.
At a Friday press briefing, President Donald Trump yet again displayed his ignorance regarding the highly contagious virus.
Trump: "Antibiotics used to solve every problem and now one of the biggest problems the world has is the germ has g… https://t.co/iE800PmrTD— Josh Marshall (@Josh Marshall)1586548081.0
The President commended the virus for how "brilliant" it was—so brilliant that antibiotics are powerless against it:
" This is a very brilliant enemy...antibiotics used to solve every problem and now one of the biggest problems the world has is the germ has gotten so brilliant that the anti-antibiotic can't keep up with it, and they're constantly trying to come up with a new...they end up dying from problems. You know the problems I'm talking about."
Here's one problem he wasn't talking about:
Antibiotics are useless against viral infections. They only work against bacteria.
Antibiotics target the growth mechanisms in bacteria, but because viruses reproduce in a different way—inside cells—antibiotics are ineffective. It's not exactly common knowledge unless you've ever been to the doctor with a cold or the flu and asked for antibiotics—but the President of the United States is in a far from common position.
Trump has the talents of experts on viral diseases like Dr. Anthony Fauci at his disposal, so it's alarming that he seems to still think that antibiotics are used for treating viral infections.
People were quick to correct him.
We eliminated smallpox with vaccination + targeted surveillance & contact tracing. While scientists race for a coro… https://t.co/uqMoDGw5hx— Chelsea Clinton (@Chelsea Clinton)1586553184.0
-Antibiotics don't work vs viruses, they work against bacteria -the virus is not outpacing antibiotics because it'… https://t.co/akBbKjo8aQ— Todd Zwillich (@Todd Zwillich)1586547979.0
As the US outbreak approaches 20,000 deaths, Trump appears to believe that the coronavirus is a bacterial pathogen.… https://t.co/YgIqLGFC5r— Brian Klaas (@Brian Klaas)1586549815.0
I can barely spell science & even I know that antibiotics fight bacterial infections and do not work on viruses. Ha… https://t.co/q16zP10ZL6— Stephanie Ruhle (@Stephanie Ruhle)1586551022.0
The comments were disturbing, to say the least.
He still doesn’t know the difference between a bacteria and a virus and 18,000 Americans are dead https://t.co/HeJ0opgTN8— Meredith Blake (@Meredith Blake)1586568687.0
Jesus take the wheel... https://t.co/ieu6i0a6hB— Joy-Ann 😷Reid (@Joy-Ann 😷Reid)1586548206.0
*screams into the void* https://t.co/7h7LS7qqNY— aj PA-C (@aj PA-C)1586600885.0
To stay informed, visit the official website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The book Viruses, Plagues, and History: Past, Present and Future is available here.