Summary List Placement
President Donald Trump has all but stopped talking about the coronavirus pandemic, despite the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warning the US could pass 300,000 deaths by Christmas.
Throughout the pandemic, Trump often blamed China, praised the White House’s work in finding a vaccine, and downplayed the threat that the virus posed to Americans.
But, in the past week, the topic seems to have disappeared from his public statements.
Since President-elect Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election, Trump has used his public statements — either in press briefings or tweets — to double down on the baseless claims that he will have a second term, and that votes were stolen from him.
“This Election was RIGGED, but we will WIN!'” he tweeted Wednesday.
Trump’s decision to gloss over the virus come as the US outbreak is still raging, with experts fearing holiday season travel and celebrations will ensure deaths continue to rise.
The US is currently in the throes of its third — and likely deadliest — coronavirus outbreak.
On Wednesday, the CDC said that the US may hit 300,000 coronavirus deaths before December 19. The US has currently reported 262,000 deaths — the highest in the world — according to Johns Hopkins University data.
On Tuesday, the US recorded 2,216 new daily COVID-19 deaths — the highest since June 26, The New York Times reported, adding that daily new deaths were trending upwards and would likely soon surpass the record of 2,752 set on April 15.
Trump has made few statements in recent weeks, and when he has, his remarks largely avoided discussing the virus.
On Tuesday, Trump gave a Thanksgiving press conference in the Rose Garden which he began by praising the Dow Jones Industrial Average gains and only briefly mentioned the pandemic, thanking Americans who “waged the battle against the China virus.”
Earlier that day, Trump gave a bizarre, minute-long press briefing in which he again praised the stock market, but added he was “thrilled with what’s happened on the vaccine front.”
And on Wednesday, Trump joined a GOP hearing by phone, calling the election a “disgrace” and floated already-debunked conspiracy theories about dead people voting in the 2020 election. That same day, Biden called for unity in a Thanksgiving-Eve speech and noted that “we’re at war with a virus — not with each other.”
Trump’s tweets, often the gateway to his true concerns, have also been mostly free from virus references in the past.
When Trump has spoken about the virus it has been in the context of the hunt for a vaccine, and his administration’s role in producing one.
On November 13, Trump praised Operation Warp Speed — the White House team tasked with finding and rolling out a vaccine in the US — which he said deserved credit for helping Pfizer develop its vaccine, which has been found to be 90% effective.
As Business Insider’s Sarah Al-Arshani previously noted, Trump has been neglecting his official duties since his election loss.