Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday defended President Donald Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic by falsely claiming that the president had never sought to belittle the threat the virus posed.
“I don’t believe the president has ever belittled the threat of the coronavirus,” Pence said.
A massive trail of evidence shows otherwise, however.
“Because of all we’ve done, the risk to the American people remains very low,” Trump said on February 26th. “When you have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero.”
“It’s going to disappear,” Trump said of the virus on February 28th. “One day, it’s like a miracle, it will disappear.”
“We’re the number one travel destination anywhere in the world, yet we have far fewer cases of the disease than even countries with much less travel or a much smaller population,” Trump said on February 29th.
Just over one month after Trump made those statements, America now leads the world with more than 190,000 reported COVID-19 cases and over 4,000 deaths from the disease.
Pence’s falsehood about Trump not downplaying the virus drew a swift rebuke — check out some reactions below.
Mike Pence today on CNN: “I don’t believe the president has ever belittled the threat of the coronavirus.”
Except for …
Trump on 1/22: “It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control.”
Trump 2/26: “This is a flu. This is like a flu.” …
— Mark Jacob (@MarkJacob16) April 1, 2020
“I don’t believe the president has ever belittled the threat of the coronavirus.”
Me, reading the list of every time the president belittled the threat of the coronavirus: pic.twitter.com/YZWUWAzt9U
— TrumpsTaxes (@TrumpsTaxes) April 1, 2020
Smell the gaslight! https://t.co/0ztHa7Fop9
— Roy Edroso (@edroso) April 1, 2020
Stop lying to our damned faces!!!!!!!!!! Right now, CNN should be airing the clips of Trump saying the opposite. I hope they are
— CeeGee (@lgbtcg) April 1, 2020
Pence is full of shit. Trump belittled the whole thing from DAY 1…also, there are no thermometers, toilet paper, meat, etc. in most of the grocery stores in the area I’m in. You and the administration are completely full of self-righteous, moral-high-ground SHIT!
— RLB (@saieph) April 1, 2020
An Incomplete List of Trump’s Attempts to Play Down Coronavirushttps://t.co/LdUSv3AdUp
— Frida Ghitis (@FridaGhitis) April 1, 2020
🤥Pence: I don’t believe the president has ever belittled the threat of the coronavirus.
Wolf recites Trump’s words: He called it a hoax, said numbers will go from 15 – zero, will disappear quickly, etc.
😬Pence: The president is an optimistic person.
🤯Lies are now optimism. pic.twitter.com/DQss5PsmrC
— Paula Chertok🗽 (@PaulaChertok) April 1, 2020
rattled by *checks notes* wolf blitzer, mike pence lies and says trump has never belittled the coronavirus threat. even for these guys, that’s a big lie. https://t.co/5MWZMjYG6P
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) April 1, 2020
— Polly Agno (@poliagno1) April 1, 2020