How we know Trump was lying when he said ‘I didn’t do it’ and ‘I don’t know anything about’ closing the pandemic office
Mike Pence and Donald Trump

There will be deaths and those deaths will have been avoidable.

President Donald Trump's Friday afternoon press conference announcing a national emergency over the coronavirus pandemic was an astonishing self-congratulatory exercise in awful oratory, but it was also a grotesque snapshot into the decrepit world of Donald Trump.

For a moment just ignore all of Trump's figurative elbow-rubbing and back-slapping, literal hand-shaking, infomercialization, Disneyization, and commercialization of a global pandemic in which now Americans are no longer citizens but "consumers."

Ignore the false claims and all-too-real coverups Trump painted. Ignore Trump's total lack of interest in the virus and his total interest in creating income streams for his corporate sponsors, like Google and CVS.

Focus for a moment on this extremely important fact: President Donald Trump shut down the White House Pandemic Office in 2018, and less than two years later America and the world are struggling through a global health emergency that Trump's own administration says could kill 5.1 million people in this country alone.

Friday afternoon PBS NewsHour White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor asked President Trump about shutting down that office.

His response was not just offensive and unpresidential, it was filled with lies.

"You said you don’t take responsibility [for slow response to coronavirus] but you did disband the White House Pandemic Office," Alcindor asked President Trump. "So, what responsibility do you take to that? And the officials that worked in that office said that you -- that the White House lost valuable time because that office was disbanded? What do you make of that?"

“Well, I just think it's a nasty question," Trump responded, weaponizing a word he regularly uses when speaking about women. "What we've done is -- and Tony had said numerous times that we saved thousands of lives because of the quick closing. And when you say me, I didn't do it. We have a group of people."

"It's your administration," Alcindor reminded the president.

"I could ask, perhaps -- my administration, but I could perhaps ask Tony about that, because I don't know anything about it," Trump claimed. "I mean, you say we did that. I don't know anything about it."

Trump is lying, and here's how we know.

First of all, as U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) said on Twitter Friday afternoon, when Trump closed the Pandemics Office Brown sent him this letter "demanding answers."

Next, this Washington Post op-ed, published just this morning, titled, "I ran the White House pandemic office. Trump closed it."

And finally, this video of Trump from just a few weeks ago admitting he closed the office:

"I didn't do it." "I don't know anything about it."

Those are lies, and they're lies to hide the fact that President Donald Trump is responsible for the United States' horrific handling of the coronavirus pandemic. There will be deaths and those deaths will have been avoidable had he pushed for the testing he repeatedly, even now, tries to suppress, and had he not shuttered the Pandemics Office.