Trump Tries To Rewrite History In Latest Briefing

In his latest briefing, Trump tried to rewrite history by claiming he didn’t downplay the coronavirus, even after being warned by one of his top advisers, saying he acted quickly to contain the virus when it was too little too late, and promising that he’d protect states when he’s already failed to provide governors with the supplies they need.

Trump brushed off the fact that he continued to downplay this crisis even as a memo written by one of his top advisers in January warned about the potential impact of COVID-19 in the U.S. 

CNN’s Daniel Dale: “Trump on the Navarro January memo: I didn’t see it, but ‘I heard he wrote some memos talking about pandemic…that was about the same time that I felt we should do it’ (travel restrictions on China). But Trump kept downplaying into March, even after the WHO pandemic declaration.”

Trump said he acted quickly and early by restricting travel from China — but his travel restriction was too little, too late. 

CNN’s Daniel Dale: “Trump, praising himself for making good moves, again describes his China travel restrictions as ‘closing it down.’ As the NYT reported, nearly 40,000 people have flown from China since he imposed the restrictions, which are not a full ban.”

New York Times: “Since Chinese officials disclosed the outbreak of a mysterious pneumonialike illness to international health officials on New Year’s Eve, at least 430,000 people have arrived in the United States on direct flights from China.”

Trump promised to protect states if their governors fail, but Trump has repeatedly failed to provide governors with the help they need.

CNN’s Jeff Zeleny: “‘I will protect you if your governor fails,’ @realDonaldTrump says — as this remarkable and unprecedented dance with governors continue.”

PBS NewsHour’s Yamiche Alcindor: “Pres Trump: ‘I will protect you if your governor fails. If you have a governor that is failing, we’re going to protect you. But the governors are working well with us over the last period of time.’ Note: Some governors have repeatedly said Trump’s slow response is the problem.”

Washington Post: “In the absence of a national testing strategy, states go their own way”

Trump tried to rewrite history by now claiming that he never downplayed the coronavirus by comparing it to the flu — he did.

CNN’s Daniel Dale: “Trump: Sure, you could say I compared this to the flu, but the worst pandemic ever, in 1918, was a flu. So ‘the flu is nothing to sneeze at.’ This is revisionist history. In likening this virus to the flu, he was very much not saying this could be a 1918 pandemic.”

Trump touted his administration’s rollout of the small business loan program and said it was running ahead of schedule, but the launch was a failure, and bankers and small-business owners say few people have actually got their money.

Washington Post’s Erica Werner: “Trump says they are asking for the additional $250b for small biz program  ‘based on the incredible success of the program’ , also says they’re ‘way ahead of schedule’ (Numerous lenders and small biz reps have said roll-out has had lots of probs)”

Business Insider’s Jake Lahut: “Trump says ‘We’re way ahead of schedule’ on the paycheck protection program. Again, not true.”

New York Times: “But bankers, small-business owners and others participating in the program say very little of that money has actually reached companies seeking the cash.”