House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Sunday reiterated the blatantly false claim that President Donald Trump said the Wuhan coronavirus is a "hoax."
"I'm afraid he's going to act on the set basis of what he's acted before. It's a hoax, it's magically going to disappear. And that's why I sent out the letter that I did after Easter," Pelosi said. "Easter gave me time for reflection and prayerfulness about okay, we don't want to keep harping on what he did wrong, because he's failed. He's failed in the testing, and the rest, and it's a hoax, it's going to magically disappear. That's not based on science. This isn't magical. This is scientific."
According to the Speaker, if the president makes decisions based on his "earlier false premises" then the American people are in trouble.
"And his earlier delay and denial caused deaths," she said.
Pelosi made the case that decisions should be based on scientific data and "not whimsy, magic, hoax allegations and placing blame instead of taking responsibility."
She said she decided to send her letter after Easter because it became apparent that Trump was "drawing strength from his own view of what his falsehoods were gaining him and we cannot, we cannot fight a pandemic, we cannot open up our economy based on falsehoods."
Democrats continually run with this narrative that President Trump said the Wuhan coronavirus was a "hoax," but that is completely false. Even The Washington Post gave that four Pinocchios when Joe Biden's team used the clip for a campaign ad.
At the 10-second mark, the camera shows a tight shot of the president saying “coronavirus” and then cuts to a wide shot where he says, “this is their new hoax.” Both clips are from Trump’s Feb. 28 campaign rally in North Charleston, S.C., but he never said “coronavirus, this is their new hoax.” Rather, Biden’s ad clipped a large part of Trump’s speech to make it seem as though he had. Here’s the president’s full quote (emphasis added to show the omission):
Now the Democrats are politicizing the coronavirus. You know that, right? Coronavirus. They’re politicizing it. We did one of the great jobs, you say, ‘How’s President Trump doing?’, ‘Oh, nothing, nothing.’ They have no clue, they don’t have any clue. They can’t even count their votes in Iowa, they can’t even count. No, they can’t. They can’t count their votes. One of my people came up to me and said, ‘Mr. President, they tried to beat you on Russia, Russia, Russia.’ That didn’t work out too well. They couldn’t do it. They tried the impeachment hoax. That was on a perfect conversation. They tried anything, they tried it over and over, they’ve been doing it since he got in. It’s all turning, they lost. It’s all turning, think of it, think of it. And this is their new hoax. But you know we did something that’s been pretty amazing. We have 15 people in this massive country and because of the fact that we went early, we went early, we could have had a lot more than that.”
The full quote shows Trump is criticizing Democratic talking points and the media’s coverage of his administration’s response to coronavirus. He never says that the virus itself is a hoax, and although the Biden camp included the word “their,” the edit does not make clear to whom or what Trump is referring.
Moreover, at a news conference Feb. 29, the day after the rally and three days before Biden’s ad was released, Trump was asked about the “hoax” comment. He clarified, “ ‘Hoax’ referring to the action that [Democrats] take to try and pin this on somebody, because we’ve done such a good job. The hoax is on them, not -- I’m not talking about what’s happening here [the virus]; I’m talking what they’re doing. That’s the hoax. … But the way they refer to it -- because these people have done such an incredible job, and I don’t like it when they are criticizing these people. And that’s the hoax. That’s what I’m talking about.”
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