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

A winning 2020 slogan.

Patrick Semansky/AP

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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were more than 150,000 US deaths from the coronavirus pandemic, was referring to a number that by Monday had become outdated.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.

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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