As US Death Toll Nears 90,000, Trump Says We’re “Doing Really Well”

(Plague!)

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting about the coronavirus response with Gov. Phil Murphy, D-N.J., in the Oval Office of the White House, Thursday, April 30, 2020, in Washington. Associated Press

The coronavirus is a rapidly developing news story, so some of the content in this article might be out of date. Check out our most recent coverage of the coronavirus crisis, and subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

With the United States death toll from COVID-19 approaching 90,000 and former President Barack Obama criticizing the federal government’s response, there’s at least one person who thinks things are actually going quite well: Donald Trump.

On Sunday, the president tweeted, “Doing REALLY well, medically, on solving the CoronaVirus situation (Plague!). It will happen!”

It’s not entirely clear what “it” means in this context, but it seems likely that the pandemic is here to stay for the foreseeable future. There are more than 100 vaccines in development globally, and only eight have started testing in humans, according to the Wall Street Journal. Trump tweeted last week that “vaccine work is looking VERY promising, before end of year. Likewise, other solutions!” Moncef Slaoui, who’s leading the US government’s effort to develop a vaccine, said in an interview with the New York Times that “12-18 months [from when work first began] is already a very aggressive timeline” but that the president’s goal was achievable. Other government experts are more skeptical.

Trump’s Sunday tweet comes one day after the Food and Drug Administration issued emergency clearance for an at-home coronavirus testing kit, but even that positive development comes with caveats. Users would still have to send their test samples to a laboratory for diagnostic testing in order to get a result. In fact, far from solving the crisis, the administration’s testing efforts are still failing to reveal a clear picture of the pandemic’s scope. Supply shortages have hampered efforts to ramp up testing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its own numbers recently, announcing that 1.4 million people have tested positive among the more than 10 million tested. But those number differ from what individual states have found. Take California, for example, which says it’s done more than 1.3 million tests, while the CDC counted just under 925,000.

Trump’s rhetoric once again seems to be at odds with the data. And while that’s certainly not a new development, the pandemic has made it far more dangerous.

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