American Idiot

A running list of the dumbest things Trump has said about the coronavirus

Imagine for a moment that you, like many Trump supporters, take Dear Leader both seriously and literally.

You would, of course, reject all information originating from Fake News media, Angry or Do-Nothing Democrats, Nasty Women, Robert Mueller, the 17 US intelligence agencies, and any of Trump’s highly untrustworthy former Chiefs of Staff, Secretaries of Defense or State, Attorney Generals, National Security Advisers, current or former Ambassadors, or hush-money organizing personal lawyers. Decorated war heroes who contradicted your five-time-draft-dodging President would also be highly suspect.

July 24, 2018: “Don't believe the crap you see from these people, the fake news. ... What you're seeing and what you're reading is not what's happening.”

The Mueller Report? HOAX!

Impeachment? HOAX!

Coronavirus? What will those Democrats think of next!

If you took Trump’s advice to trust only him and to disregard everything you see or hear (especially about invisible hoaxes like the coronavirus which you can’t even see!), you are likely right now prepping to take grandma to another exciting Trump rally instead of making sure she has all her prescriptions refilled and enough toilet paper to get through the spring.

Here’s a running list of the dumbest things Trump has said about the coronavirus:

January 22: “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China. It’s going to be just fine.”

February 2: “We pretty much shut it down coming in from China.”

February 10: “A lot of people think that goes away in April with the heat — as the heat comes in.”

February 24: “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA… Stock Market starting to look very good to me!”

February 25: “CDC and my Administration are doing a GREAT job of handling Coronavirus.”

February 25: “I think that's a problem that’s going to go away… They have studied it. They know very much. In fact, we’re very close to a vaccine.”

February 26: “The 15 (cases in the US) within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero.”

February 26: “We're going very substantially down, not up.”

February 27: “One day it’s like a miracle, it will disappear.”

February 28: “We're ordering a lot of supplies. We're ordering a lot of, uh, elements that frankly we wouldn't be ordering unless it was something like this. But we're ordering a lot of different elements of medical.”

February 28: “The Democrats are politicizing the coronavirus…. They tried the impeachment hoax.... They tried anything…. This is their new hoax.”

February 29: “We've taken the most aggressive actions to confront the coronavirus. They are the most aggressive taken by any country.”

March 2: “You take a solid flu vaccine, you don't think that could have an impact, or much of an impact, on corona?”

March 2: “A lot of things are happening, a lot of very exciting things are happening and they’re happening very rapidly.”

March 4: “If we have thousands or hundreds of thousands of people that get better just by, you know, sitting around and even going to work — some of them go to work, but they get better.” NOTE: The CDC advises people displaying symptoms to stay home and self-quarantine unless seeking medical care.

March 5: “I NEVER said people that are feeling sick should go to work.”

March 5: “The United States… has, as of now, only 129 cases… and 11 deaths. We are working very hard to keep these numbers as low as possible!”

March 6: “I think we’re doing a really good job in this country at keeping it down… a tremendous job at keeping it down.”

March 6: “Anybody right now, and yesterday, anybody that needs a test gets a test. They’re there. And the tests are beautiful…. the tests are all perfect like the letter was perfect. The transcription was perfect. Right? This was not as perfect as that but pretty good.”

March 6: “I like this stuff. I really get it. People are surprised that I understand it… Every one of these doctors said, ‘How do you know so much about this?’ Maybe I have a natural ability. Maybe I should have done that instead of running for president.”

March 6: “When I was hearing the amount of people that died with the flu, I was shocked to hear it… I would have said, ‘Does anybody die of the flu?’ I didn’t know people died from the flu.”

Fact check: Trump’s grandfather died of the flu.

March 6: “I don't need to have the numbers double because of one ship that wasn't our fault.”

March 7: “Very soon, we're going to come up [with a vaccine].”

March 8: “We have a perfectly coordinated and fine tuned plan at the White House for our attack on CoronaVirus.”

Current status: As of noon March 8, 2020, coronavirus is in 30 states plus the District of Columbia. Known U.S. cases exceed 400. The death toll stands at 19.

March 9: “This blindsided the world.”

March 10: “Be calm. It’s really working out and a lot of good things are going to happen.”

March 10: “We need the Wall more than ever!”

Current status: As of March 10, 2020, U.S. coronavirus cases exceed 700. The death toll stands at 27. NY Governor Cuomo has deployed the National Guard to a command post in New Rochelle, a New York City suburb with at least 108 known cases of COVID-19.

March 11: “We’re having to fix a problem that four weeks ago nobody ever thought would be a problem.”

March 12: “We need a little separation until such time as this goes away. It’s gonna go away, it's gonna go away… But in the meantime, we want to lose as few people as possible, so important.”

March 12: “Frankly, the testing has been going very smooth… we’ve done a good job on testing.”

Current status: As of March 12, the CDC had completed only 3,903 COVID-19 tests, with US public health labs completing an additional 9,721, for a total of 13,624. Dr. Anthony Fauci told Congress on that America’s lack of testing compared to other countries was “a failing. Let's admit it.” Ohio’s top public health official estimated that the unchecked spread of coronavirus meant that 117,000 people were now infected in Ohio alone.

March 13: “When you compare what we’ve done to other areas of the world, it’s pretty incredible.”

March 13: “Five million (tests) within a month... I doubt we’ll need anything near that.”

March 13: “I don’t take responsibility at all.”

March 14. “It’s something that nobody expected… it’s one of those things that happened. It’s nobody’s fault.”

March 15: “This is a very contagious virus. It's incredible. But it's something that we have tremendous control over”

Current status: US coronavirus spread continues: confirmed cases surge to 3,485 as of March 16, with 65 fatalities.

March 17: “I have always known this is a real, this is a pandemic. I’ve felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic… I’ve always viewed it as very serious.”

March 19: “If we had an honest media in this country, our country would be an even greater place.”

March 19: “It could have been stopped, could have been stopped pretty easily if we had known, if everybody had known about it… Nobody knew there’d be a pandemic… of this proportion.”

March 25: “Nobody could have ever seen something like this coming.”

Note: Between July and August 2019, the Trump Administration ran a simulation called “Crimson Contragion,” in which a “respiratory virus began in China and was quickly spread around the world by air travelers… 110 million Americans were expected to become ill, leading to 7.7 million hospitalized and 586,000 dead.”

March 25: “It’s hard not be happy with the job we’re doing, that I can tell you.”

Current status: The U.S. now has 64,832 coronavirus cases, up from 1,301 cases just two weeks ago. 913 have died.

March 26: “I don't believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators. You go into major hospitals sometimes, and they’ll have two ventilators. And now all of a sudden they’re saying, ‘Can we order 30,000 ventilators?”

March 26: “It can’t be managed by the federal government.”

Current status: The U.S. now leads the world in confirmed coronavirus cases.

March 27: “We’ve had great success over the past month.”

Current status: The U.S. now has more than 100,000 coronavirus cases. The U.S. death toll has passed 1,500. The stock market has crashed. Weekly unemployment claims just hit a record 3.3 million. Trump just signed a $2 trillion stimulus plan.

March 27: “I’m not just blaming President Obama... in all fairness to all the former Presidents, none of them ever thought a thing like this could happen.”

Fact check: 30 members of the Trump transition team were personally briefed by Obama officials on almost this exact scenario. Trump was given a detailed, 69-page pandemic playbook which he ignored.

March 27: “You can call it a germ. You can call it a flu. You can call it a virus.... I’m not sure anybody even knows what it is.”

March 29: Because the “Ratings” of my News Conferences etc. are so high, “Bachelor finale, Monday Night Football type numbers” according to the @nytimes, the Lamestream Media is going CRAZY. “Trump is reaching too many people, we must stop him.” said one lunatic. See you at 5:00 P.M.!

Current status: As Trump brags about his TV ratings, the U.S. now has more than 135,000 coronavirus cases. The U.S. death toll is approaching 2,400. NYC Mayor de Blasio says medical supplies will run out within a week. Dr. Anthony Fauci predicts there could be “millions” of US cases and between 100,000 and 200,000 deaths.

March 29: “And so if we can hold that down, as we’re saying to 100,000, it’s a horrible number, maybe even less, but to 100,000, so we have between 100 and 200,000, we all together have done a very good job.”

April 4: “Whoever heard of 180 million masks?”

April 5: “We are learning much about the Invisible Enemy. It is tough and smart, but we are tougher and smarter!”

Fact check: It’s a virus.

April 10: “I have a lot of confidence in Ron DeSantis. A lot of faith in Ron DeSantis to make the right decision. He’s doing a great job as Governor.”

Fact check: 16,000 people in lightly tested Florida have been confirmed infected with COVID-19. Yesterday Ron DeSantis falsely claimed no one under 25 had died from COVID-19 as he said he was considering re-opening schools in Florida. Kids can easily transmit the virus to teachers, janitors, bus drivers, parents, grandparents and others in their communities.

April 10: “The germ has gotten so brilliant that the antibiotic can't keep up with it.”

Fact check: Antibiotics treat bacterial infections. They can't kill viruses.

April 13: “We did everything right.”

Fact check: There are now more than 600,000 cases in the U.S. and more than 25,000 dead.

April 17: “The States have to step up their TESTING!”

April 18: “It could have been billions of people had we had not done what we did.”

April 18: “If I wasn't elected, the world would be over.”

Fact check: There are now more than 2.3 million cases worldwide, with almost 160,000 dead. Trump picked this week to suspend funding to the World Health Organization.

April 20: “If you add up every country in the world, we’ve tested more.”

Fact check: Total tests as of 4/20: America: 4,010,104. Russia, Germany and Italy: 5,179,700. The U.S. hasn’t tested more than even the next 3 countries and ranks 40th in testing per million population, behind dozens of countries, including Iceland, Estonia, Israel, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, Latvia, Ireland and Russia.

April 20: “We’re going toward 50- or 60,000 people. That’s at the lower — as you know, the low number was supposed to be 100,000 people.  We — we could end up at 50 to 60.”

Fact check: The U.S. death toll from coronavirus topped 60,000 on April 29.

April 23:

April 30: “If you add up the rest of the world, we’ve done more testing.”

Fact check: “Just adding together the totals of Spain, Italy, Germany and the UK gives you more than the US,” says the BBC.

April 30: “Our death totals — our numbers — per million people are really very, very strong.  We’re very proud of the job we’ve done.”

Fact check: As of May 18, the US had 278 deaths per million, 7X the world average of 41 per million. With 4.25% of the world’s population, America accounts for 29% of the world’s deaths from COVID-19.

May 4: “We have great testing capacity, and have performed 6.5 million tests, which is more than every country in the world, combined!”

Fact check: According to, at the time Trump made that claim, 9 other countries had performed more than one million tests each. The total of just those 9 countries was 16.8 million tests.

May 5: “There is no win, just so you know, there is no great win one way or the other.”

May 8: “This is why the whole concept of tests aren't necessarily great.... today, I guess, for some reason, she tested positive.” — Trump, responding to the news that Katie Miller, a spokesperson for Vice President Mike Pence and the wife of Stephen Miller, has tested positive for coronavirus.

May 14: “When you test, you have a case. When you test you find something is wrong with people. If we didn’t do any testing, we would have very few cases.”

May 20: “When you say per capita, there's many per capitas. It’s like per capita relative to what?”

June 17: “It’s fading away, it’s going to fade away.”

Fact check: On June 17, there were 25,610 new cases of COVID-19 reported in the US, a 7% increase compared to 14 days earlier.

June 20: “When you do testing to that extent, you’re going to find more people. You’re going to find more cases. So I said to my people slow the testing down please.”

June 23: At a visit to his unfinished vanity wall in Arizona, Trump bragged: “It stopped COVID, it stopped everything.”

Fact check: Even as Trump made the claim cases were surging in Arizona. On Sunday June 28, 5 days after Trump visited the wall the “stopped everything,” the state recorded its highest one day increase in both new cases and hospitalizations. ICU beds were occupied at 87% of total capacity.

June 23: “I don’t kid. Let me just tell you — let me make it clear: We have got the greatest testing program anywhere in the world…. what’s happened is, because of all of the cases that we find, we have a very low mortality rate, just about the best in the world.”

Fact check: Trump has never developed a coherent national testing strategy of the kind that allowed countries such as South Korea to contain the virus early and avoid a recession. The current US mortality rate of 372 deaths per million population is more than 6X higher than the global death rate of 61.1 deaths per million population. (Source:

June 25: “If we didn’t do testing, we’d have no cases… you’re going to have a kid with the sniffles and they’ll say it’s coronavirus.”

July 2: “We have some areas where we’re putting out the flames or the fires and that’s working out well… The crisis is being handled.”

Fact check: Cases are rising in 38 states and 19 are pausing or reversing reopenings. New cases have exceeded 50,000 for the past two days. New cases in Arizona alone (population 7 million) now exceed daily cases in the entire European Union (population 446 million).

July 7: “I think we are in a good place.”

July 17: “I don’t agree with the statement that if everyone wore a mask, everything disappears.”

Trump made the comment in an interview with Chris Wallace of Fox News, who asked if he agreed with the CDC director who said that the country could get the virus under control in four to six weeks if everyone wore a mask.

July 19: “I’ll be right eventually.”

September 4: “We’re rounding the corner. We’re rounding the corner on the virus.”

Fact check: The U.S. coronavirus death toll is forecast to more than double between now and the end of the year. According to the latest IHME projection (the model frequently cited by the White House), U.S. deaths from COVID-19 will exceed 410,000 by January 1, 2021.

October 4: “It’s been a very interesting journey. I learned a lot about COVID. I learned it by really going to school. This is the real school. This isn't the ‘let's read the books’ school. And I get it, and I understand it, and it's a very interesting thing, and I’m going to be letting you know about it.”

Fact check: Minutes after saying he now “gets it” and “understands it,” Trump “left Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Sunday evening to wave to supporters gathered outside,” reports NPR. “Dr. James Phillips, chief of disaster medicine at George Washington University, lambasted the move as being made for ‘political theater.’” The Secret Service agents in Trump’s hermetically sealed SUV had, “a risk of COVID-19 transmission inside (that) is as high as it gets outside of medical procedures,” said Dr. Phillips.

October 5: “Don’t be afraid of Covid.”

Fact check: Current US death toll: 214,844.

I’ll add more dumb Trump comments to this list in the days and weeks ahead. If you see any I miss, please leave them in the comments. If you’d like to sign up for future FREE updates of this ad-free email newsletter—or support with a subscription—just click below!

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