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.
But according to Donald Trump, he's always claimed the threat was serious.
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.
People are sick of the constant lying.
According to The Washington Post, the President has made over 16,000 false statements since his inauguration.