How do you blame someone else for something you’re supposed to do? Like whose man is this?
Donald Trump recently went on TV and tried to blame his Democratic competitor, former Vice President and 2020 Presidential candidate Joe Biden for not instituting a national mask mandate amid the coronavirus pandemic.
As if the task were left up to Biden, Trump’s comments were not only bizarre but impossible, to say the least. On Tuesday, during an ABC News town hall with undecided voters in Pennsylvania, Trump once again made misleading comments about his competitor. Biden actually urged all state governors to mandate mask-wearing to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Still, unfortunately, he isn’t the president (yet!), and therefore it is not in his legal powers to mandate anything.
Julie Bart asked Trump why he hadn’t instituted a national mask mandate during the peak of the pandemic and why he had initally refused to wear one himself even after the nation’s top medical officials urged people to do so.
“Well, I do wear them when I have to and when I’m in hospitals and other locations,” Trump said. “But I will say this. They said at the Democrat convention they’re going to do a national mandate. They never did it, because they’ve checked out and they didn’t do it. And a good question is, you ask why Joe Biden ― they said we’re going to do a national mandate on masks.”
Moments after the clip aired, Biden responded on Twitter with a Tweet: “To be clear: I am not currently president. But if you chip in now, we can change that in November.”
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) September 16, 2020
Trump then rambled on, saying,” a lot of people think the masks are not good,” adding that health officials, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, were hesitant to push masks during the early days of the pandemic. However, that claim is also misleading as medical officials have since learned much more about COVID-19 and its spread, in addition to the fact that the shortage of medical-grade masks for health professionals has dissipated. Fauci has since urged for “universal wearing of masks.”
Again, Trump credited his administration for succeeding the pandemic, saying he didn’t think he could have done anything more to prevent the virus that has taken the lives of nearly 200,000 people and infected more than 6.6 million in the U.S.
“Could you have done more to stop it?” ABC News host George Stephanopoulos asked.
“I don’t think so,” Trump replied. “I think what I did by closing up the country, I think I saved two, maybe two and a half, maybe more than that lives. I really don’t think so. I think we did a very good job.”
When asked about his claims to legendary journalist Bob Woodard earlier this year that he had intentionally downplayed the threat of the coronavirus despite knowing its lethal threats and danger, Trump said he didn’t do that and, in fact, had cast the virus as more serious.
“I didn’t downplay it,” Trump said during the town hall. “I actually, in many ways, I up-played it, in terms of action. My action was very strong.”
Despite those assertions, Trump defended his false claims that COVID-19 would go away.
“It is going to disappear. It’s going to disappear, I still say it,” Trump said. “We’re not going to have studios like this, where you have all of this empty space in between. I want to see people, and you want to see people. I want to see football games. I’m pushing very hard for Big Ten; I want to see Big Ten open ― let the football games ― let them play sports. But, no. It’s going to disappear, George.”