Trump: More Americans Have Died Under My Watch Than Michelle Obama Gives Me Credit For

A winning 2020 slogan.

Patrick Semansky/AP

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

It didn’t take long for President Trump to hit back at Michelle Obama after the former first lady, in a searing speech for the Democratic National Convention on Monday, made the case for why he’s simply not up to the job.

But Trump’s attempt to stick up for himself instantly backfired when he criticized Obama for pre-recording the video of her speech. “It was not only taped,” Trump complained, “it was taped a long time ago because she had the wrong [coronavirus] deaths.” 

He’s technically correct here, but that’s not a good thing. Obama, who said there were more than 150,000 US deaths from the coronavirus pandemic, was referring to a number that by Monday had become outdated. The death toll has now surpassed 170,000. Trump apparently wanted to remind everyone that more Americans have died from the coronavirus under his watch than a political opponent had given him credit him for. “She gets these fawning reviews,” Trump continued. “If you gave her a real review, it wouldn’t be so fawning.”

But the self-own goes further. According to the New York Times, Trump—who was speaking at a White House event to mark the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment that gave women the right to vote—was hoping to pardon the suffragist Susan B. Anthony and create a news story that could divert attention from the DNC. Clearly, that plan failed.

Since Trump is reminding you, here’s a look back at his disastrous leadership during the coronavirus pandemic.

Video

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate