For weeks Trump has downplayed the threat of the virus, but on Tuesday, he claimed he has “always” known about heath risks of COVID-19 and was aware that “it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic.”
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But Lemon wasn’t having it.
“That is gaslighting, pure and simple. The president of the United States is gaslighting you and you deserve to know,” he said, before recapping for viewers Trump’s reversal.
White House Correspondent Geoff Bennett posted a timeline of Trump’s coronavirus statements since January, and up until recently, the president rejected any notion that the virus, which reportedly originated in Wuhan, China, would greatly impact America (see the Twitter thread above).
On Wednesday, Trump described himself as “a wartime president” and hero of sorts amid the global pandemic.
“I do, I actually do, I’m looking at it that way,” Trump told reporters during a press briefing at the White House, politico.com reports. “I look at it, I view it as, in a sense, a wartime president. I mean, that’s what we’re fighting.“
The coronavirus has reportedly sickened almost 200,000 people worldwide and killed more than 7,900.
“Every generation of Americans has been called to make shared sacrifices for the good of the nation,” Trump added. “To this day, nobody has ever seen like it, what they were able to do during World War II,” he continued. “Now it’s our time. We must sacrifice together, because we are all in this together, and we will come through together. It’s the invisible enemy. That’s always the toughest enemy, the invisible enemy.”