Trump Spends Rally Downplaying Coronavirus And Making Racist Jokes
President Donald Trump spoke in a state where coronavirus cases are growing so fast that new daily infection records are set repeatedly, and told a lot of young Arizona supporters that everything was under control.
"One day it will be recognized by history," he said of his pandemic response when he spoke at a campaign-style event in the Dream City Church hosted by the conservative nonprofit Turning Point USA.
This is "hopefully the end of the pandemic," Trump said to an audience of around 3,000 college students, most of whom weren't wearing masks.
There is little evidence of this. Arizona is one of several states to follow an aggressive reopening plan at Trump's urging. Currently there are an average of 2,500 new cases per day, an increase of 94% compared to last Monday. Infections are increasing in more than half of the U.S. states, and there are further alarming increases in Texas and Florida.
Hours before Trump made this prediction, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the infectious disease expert who led the country's response to COVID-19, said "the next few weeks will be crucial" to address the tensions in the worst-hit states.
But Trump did not acknowledge the waves during his Arizona rally and repeated his claims that ramped up test protocols made the pandemic look worse than the United States. He then bragged about the low mortality rate, although the U.S. currently has the fourth-highest coronavirus death rate in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Trump also returned to the same racist jokes he's made since the pandemic started, which has since killed more than 120,000 people in the United States.
"COVID-19, I said that's a strange name," Trump said after calling the virus "Wuhan," the name of the province where the virus was first reported, and "kung flu," which the made young followers cheer.
This was Trump's second rally last week. His campaign continued on Saturday with one in Tulsa, Oklahoma, although six of his campaign employees tested positive for the corona virus the day before the rally.
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