As the initial cases of COVID-19 began spreading throughout the United States, President Donald Trump scrambled to downplay the pandemic's threat, presumably in hopes of securing the stability of American financial markets.
He and his allies dismissed the virus as a "hoax" propped up by the media in an attempt to undermine his presidency.
When only 15 known cases had been confirmed in the United States, the President said the cases would be down to zero by the following week. Despite his assurances, there are now nearly 6,000 cases in the United States.
As businesses, congregations, schools and other gatherings shutter around the nation in hopes of curbing the virus's spread, Trump's rhetoric regarding the virus has changed significantly as well.
This timeline video demonstrates that.
As Trump pivots to coronavirus crisis mode, let’s not forget the months of downplaying and denial. https://t.co/gH1xZAHXm5— The Recount (@The Recount)1584484407.0
But according to Donald Trump, he's always claimed the threat was serious.
Trump, whose rhetoric and tone has notably shifted in recent days to reflect the the seriousness of the situation,… https://t.co/6fQKfY4lD3— POLITICO (@POLITICO)1584467135.0
Trump said of his response:
"I've always known this was a real―this is a pandemic. I felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic."
When pressed on the change in rhetoric, he said:
"No, I've always viewed it as very serious. There was no difference yesterday from days before. I feel the tone is similar, but some people said it wasn't."
Surprise, surprise—this is straight up false.
In a February 26 rally, the President claimed:
"[T]his is their new hoax. But you know, we did something that's been pretty amazing. We're 15 people [cases of coronavirus infection] in this massive country. And because of the fact that we went early, we went early, we could have had a lot more than that."
People knew very well what Trump's real response was.
It was a Dem “HOAX” It will “GO AWAY” in its own He had a “HUNCH” Trump has consistently tried to downplay the s… https://t.co/x2kHxSUCT8— Chicano Marine 🇲🇽🇺🇸🧩 (@Chicano Marine 🇲🇽🇺🇸🧩)1584468390.0
This dude is a fool! He called it a Democratic hoax https://t.co/rESuMsOfde— SC_Trojan_4_Life (@SC_Trojan_4_Life)1584467748.0
you called it a hoax but go off i guess https://t.co/snzmFoST3v— k. (@k.)1584468302.0
Then WHY did you call it a hoax? And WHY weren’t you better prepared? Because you are a stupid empty suit who lies… https://t.co/ibKzStFHbB— Jan MacLeod (@Jan MacLeod)1584477532.0
People are sick of the constant lying.
Never, ever has the world seen a more prolific and shameless liar. https://t.co/Mz1OpwQ0u6— Rep. Jared Huffman (@Rep. Jared Huffman)1584467979.0
Lots of video evidence that this is lie number 16,000 and something. https://t.co/VF6btbcQ4b— Norb Gossens (@Norb Gossens)1584468024.0
More lies. Always lies. https://t.co/YVpg88exGs— Green_Shoots (@Green_Shoots)1584470596.0
According to The Washington Post, the President has made over 16,000 false statements since his inauguration.