President Donald Trump faced mockery after claiming the coronavirus caught his administration off guard -- after claiming he had always known it was a pandemic.
The president claimed Tuesday that he'd always been aware of the outbreak's threat to public health, and praised himself the following morning on Twitter for taking the coronavirus seriously.
But then he claimed the outbreak, which scientists have been watching with alarm since it originated three months ago in China, caught him by surprise.
"I call it the unseen the unseen enemy, there's a thousand different terms for it, but it snuck up on us," Trump said, "and it's in 128 countries, I think it's in something like that, very close to that. think of that. So it spreads violently it's a very contagious, very, very contagious virus for America to be on a wartime footing, in terms of fighting this virus."
The president's claims met an instant and furious fact check.
"It snuck up on us." So now Trump's position is he knew it was a pandemic from the beginning AND that it snuck up o… https://t.co/KudibEWjdu— Jon Lovett (@Jon Lovett)1584549525.0
The President says this “snuck up on us” re: coronavirus. No, it didn’t sneak up on US. YOU ignored it. You calle… https://t.co/hxfRJOdEtq— Jason Page (@Jason Page)1584549483.0
@realDonaldTrump just said that #coronavirus "snuck up on us." It didn't. POTUS refused to take action, failed to m… https://t.co/AnOKW619AU— Julian Zelizer (@Julian Zelizer)1584549472.0
"It snuck up on us." - Donald Trump on the pandemic. No. It didn't sneak up on US, Donald. It snuck up on YOU.… https://t.co/WbXfYiVizd— TrumpsTaxes (@TrumpsTaxes)1584549628.0
Trump just said it again — that the pandemic "snuck up on us." It's not true. Top intel officials and experts warne… https://t.co/BosQygUOqF— Marshall Cohen (@Marshall Cohen)1584549406.0
"It snuck up on us." Trump during today's presser. No, it did not. This was a major problem in China in December.— jburcum (@jburcum)1584549382.0
"It snuck up on us." President Trump with one of his worst, flat out virus misstatements. Every citizen should reco… https://t.co/ojYLONWC86— Tom Sherwood (@Tom Sherwood)1584549374.0
“It snuck up on us,” Trump says of the coronavirus pandemic that didn’t sneak up on him.— Tim O'Brien (@Tim O'Brien)1584549326.0
Trump: “I call it the unseen enemy….It snuck up on us.” No, it didn’t. That’s the tragedy. The tragedy he has exacerbated. #coronavirus— David Corn (@David Corn)1584549322.0
The virus "snuck up on us" in much the same way that six month deadline I had snuck up on me, while I stared vaguel… https://t.co/rDsHWwT8tB— Michael Marshall Smith (@Michael Marshall Smith)1584549528.0
"It snuck up on us" is simply untrue. It's two months since we saw Wuhan explode with cases. Only now are we invoki… https://t.co/e52ar6vd9L— Jeremy PLEASE WEAR MASKS! Konyndyk (@Jeremy PLEASE WEAR MASKS! Konyndyk)1584549459.0
This is also what someone who only watches Fox News would say. If you were watching Fox News up until a few days ag… https://t.co/xPi42SrPdx— NYkrinDC (@NYkrinDC)1584551365.0
Trump says the virus "snuck up" on everyone. A stampede of elephants covered in bells and sh*tting bottle rockets… https://t.co/IJbvOReuig— John Pavlovitz (@John Pavlovitz)1584551357.0
👀 Look at the date on this! Nothing snuck up on us. Trump was asleep at the wheel. https://t.co/DObyyJwmX1— Zsenike 💛 👩🏻🏫 🇺🇸🗽 (@Zsenike 💛 👩🏻🏫 🇺🇸🗽)1584551334.0