Day 1,271: 5,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 in the past week and Trump still refuses to acknowledge it’s actually spreading

On yet another remarkably empty Monday schedule, Donald Trump’s one public event, a roundtable with families positively impacted by law enforcement, was as strange and unhinged as ever, especially when the questions from the press began.

Specifically, on COVID-19, Trump continues to live in a fictionalized world.

Despite more than 5,000 Americans dying from the disease in the past week — and more than 135,000 in five months — Trump continues to falsely assert that more COVID-19 cases is solely the result of more testing.

When a reporter pressed Trump if he acknowledged that the coronavirus was “actually spreading,” Trump gave a rambling answer that dodged the question. He falsely blamed Barack Obama and Joe Biden for “stopp[ing] their testing” — presumably, but not definitively a reference to H1N1, which killed less than 10% of the people in the U.S. that COVID-19 has — and referenced the 1918 flu pandemic as occurring in 1917, as he does nearly every time.

Trump’s logic continues to be that if there were no tests, then no one would be sick or dying of COVID-19. And yet thousands of people are sick or dying of COVID-19 and it has nothing to do with the high number of tests now being administered. It has nearly everything to do with insufficient testing for months, science and recommendations being ignored, a general lack of leadership at the federal level and sycophancy toward Trump by many governors.

Most of Europe and Asia saw huge surges of the virus and have largely returned to a normal life by having a cohesive plan, including for early mass testing, and executing it. Failing to get a handle on the disease is a uniquely American problem among world powers.

On other issues, Trump seemed no better equipped to handle basic questions. About the Chinese trade deal Trump frequently touts — really a total capitulation to Beijing — in three straight sentences, Trump first swore that the Chinese would be buying American goods, then acknowledged they might not be buying American goods, before again asserting they would be buying American goods.

Trump retreats or filibusters when issues are difficult. Monday, that meant rambling about protecting federal statues and making false claims about “creat[ing]” and “sav[ing]” the oil industry.

On real issues affecting the nation — thousands of people dying from a virus, racial inequities, healthcare — Trump noticeably deflects or goes silent or, most frequently, lies.

1,271 days in, 191 to go

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TrumpTimer watches, tracks and reports about Donald Trump and his administration’s policies every day. TrumpTimer is also counting down until January 20, 2021.