In early March, President Donald Trump tweeted about how he believed that the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) isn’t nearly as much of a threat as the common flu. Since that time, however, he’s shifted gears and now claims that the virus is worse than seasonal influenza.
During a recent White House press conference, the Commander-in-Chief stated that “a lot of people” were saying previously that we should simply let the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) run its course, creating natural herd immunity throughout society. But the messaging has since changed, and even Trump himself is now proclaiming that the virus is a deadly threat that needs to be taken seriously.
“Ride it out, don’t do anything, just ride it out and think of it as the flu,” the president stated, claiming that this is what other people besides himself were saying early on during the crisis. “But it’s not the flu,” Trump added, pretending as though he held this position from the beginning. “It is vicious.”
Again, it was Trump himself who didn’t want to overreact to the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19), suggesting that the “cure,” aka social distancing, isolation, and “non-essential” business shutdowns, would be worse than the virus itself. And now, his tune has changed, and suddenly we’re dealing with something “vicious” that requires an earth-shattering response.
“Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on,” Trump tweeted back on March 9, as one example of his earlier stance. “At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus, with 22 deaths. Think about that!”
Even just a week ago, Trump told Fox News during an interview that an average of 36,000 people die every year from seasonal flu, and that “we’ve never closed down the country for the flu.”
“So you say to yourself, ‘What is this all about?'” Trump asked in his usual vernacular, seemingly with disapproval of the current societal response to this crisis.
But now, suddenly, it’s all hands on deck in the Trump administration, which is acting as though it’s held the same position since the beginning. Did they think we would all forget?
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It would appear as though the projection of about 100,000 people dying from COVID-19 here in America alone has caught Trump’s attention, shifting his perspective from “it’s just the flu” to “it’s not just the flu.”
Even if all of the current restrictions remain in place, roughly this amount of people is expected to die when all is said and done. And that’s presumably just for this season, as the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) could reemerge next year as well – assuming the world continues on that long.
On the other hand, if people are set free from their homes to resume life as it was prior to this outbreak, some models project as many as 2.2 million deaths arising from the virus. This is what Trump says he’s trying to avoid by encouraging restrictions to remain.
“If we did nothing, if we just carried on with our life, you would have seen people dying on airplanes, you would have seen people dying in hotel lobbies. You would have seen death all over,” Trump most recently stated in support of his new position on the matter.
To keep up with the latest news about the COVID-19, be sure to check out Pandemic.news.
Sources for this article include: