After weeks of dismissing the global pandemic that's upended daily life in the United States, President Donald Trump is desperate to shift the focus from his own ineptitude and onto any entity he can—whether it be the World Health Organization, former President Barack Obama, or the nation's governors.
His latest scapegoat is the government of New York City, the American epicenter of the virus.
At a Wednesday press conference, the President implied that officials there were padding the death toll in order to make the number of deaths seem higher. The claim came just weeks after Trump accused New York of exaggerating the number of life saving ventilators it needed to treat the virus.
"I see this morning where New York added 3,000 deaths because they died. Rather than it was a heart attack, they say it was a heart attack caused by this, so they're adding. If you look at it, that's it. And everything we have is documented, reported, and what they are doing is 'just in case' they're calling it this, and that's okay. That's okay, but we have more cases because we do more reporting."
He was responding to reports that New York retroactively added 3,700 people to its death toll who died of symptoms congruent with the virus but had not been tested.
This was in accordance with a new policy from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which stated that deaths can be attributed to the virus in death tolls if "the circumstances are compelling within a degree of certainty." New York was following a federal policy that's largely necessary due to the Trump administration's bungled testing rollout.
New Yorkers were none too happy with the President's accusation.
A spokeswoman for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said:
"These were people with names, hobbies, lives. They leave behind grieving loved ones. They deserve to be recognized, not minimized."
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo also excoriated the President for the claim.
Cuomo responds to Trump's allegation that New York City is padding its coronavirus death count: "It is bad enough a… https://t.co/KoYiGaJhIP— CBS News (@CBS News)1587054184.0
The Governor said:
"It's bad enough and painful enough as it is. Why would you inflate a death toll? It sounds even more bizarre than usual that anyone would want to do that. I think what's happening is...CDC put out different guidelines of what numbers you must report."
They weren't the only ones who balked at Trump's words.
@CBSNews Horribly sad comment.....how little and irrelevant can he become.— Gary🇺🇸🌈🏀🏈⚾️❤️🇺🇸 (@Gary🇺🇸🌈🏀🏈⚾️❤️🇺🇸)1587053292.0
@CBSNews The guy can’t handle reality.— Rr. Cherchor (@Rr. Cherchor)1587053099.0
@CBSNews What a tool he is— jfish (@jfish)1587053188.0
@CBSNews What?! Trump is sick!— Shirley JonesLuke (@Shirley JonesLuke)1587055708.0
@CBSNews "Trump accuses..." "Trump says..." "Trump claims..." You can be sure these sentences always end with Trump lying.— W.H. Harrison (@W.H. Harrison)1587054619.0
Once again, Trump blames anyone but himself.
For a deeper look into the dangers of Trump's presidency, check out A Very Stable Genius, available here.