Trump Chickens Out In Press Conference And Opts For More Distraction

Ken AshfordEbola/Zika/COVID-19 Viruses, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Amid a literal plague and widespread unrest over racial injustice in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Louisville, Kentucky, Donald Trump held a press conference Friday to address the nation.

It was supposed to be about Minneapolis, but he had gotten himself in hot water by quoting a white supremacist “When the looting starts, the shooting starts”.

So he pivoted.

“We will be today terminating our relationship with the World Health Organization and redirecting those funds to other worldwide and deserving urgent global public health needs,” Trump announced.

That’s right—no mentions of George Floyd or Breonna Taylor, no words intended to soothe the deep wounds currently afflicting this country. No questions. Just some World Health Organization bashing and then China, China, China. Trump spent most the brief announcement painting the World Health Organization (WHO) as a tool of the Chinese government and China as an enemy of democracy and global public health (never mind cutting off WHO funding amid a global pandemic).

“The world is now suffering as a result of the malfeasance of the Chinese government,” Trump said. “China’s cover-up of the Wuhan virus allowed the disease to spread all over the world, instigating a global pandemic that has cost over 100,000 American lives and over a million lives worldwide.”

Translation: The 100,000 American deaths on my watch are all China’s fault. Trump also declared himself “100% correct” for implementing a travel ban from China earlier this year.

In short: the buck stops with China.