Trump Presser Only 80 Percent Lies This Time, So That's Crazy!
Donald Trump went on the TV yesterday to kick off a press conference held by Mike Pence's Coronavirus Bible Camp, and in an indication of just how seriously he's taking the crisis, Trump's statement was, this time, only about 80 percent lies. Trump praised the Federal Reserve for cutting interest rates to almost zero (true), predicted America won't hear him griping about the Fed anymore (as if), insisted Google has a "Do You Need To Be Tested" website just about ready to roll out (not even close), and told Americans they don't need to hoard groceries (true) because "Relax, we're doing great, it all will pass" (GTFO with your "great," and it won't last forever, but also won't disappear in a week or two). Trump capped it all off with false reassurance that younger people don't need to even worry much about the virus, which is only true if you mean "fairly unlikely to die."
Here's the full horrorshow! Trump's part is only a bit under 10 minutes, after which he leaves Pence and the expert types to talk.
WATCH: Trump gives coronavirus update at White House youtu.be
Trump began by praising the Fed's sudden interest rate cut to almost zero, about where it was during the Great Recession. The Fed will also try to stimulate the economy by buying $700 billion in Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities. Trump thought that was pretty awesome:
That's a big step and I'm very happy they did it. And you will not hear anything about me, unless it's about a month or two from now. So I congratulate the Federal Reserve.
We'll assume he meant we won't "hear anything about it from me," since Trump is the one who's been ranting about his own Fed chair not doing enough to juice the economy and ensure Trump's reelection. CNBC notes Trump's enthusiasm about the rate cut was received as well as nearly everything he's said about the coronavirus.
Dow futures plunged shortly after the president's remarks despite the central bank action, hitting the 5% "limit down" threshold implemented by the CME futures exchange to prevent panic selling.
The Googles, They Do Nothing
Trump also said that the great Google website that would help people decide whether they need to be tested, and where to go if they need testing, IS SO just about ready for prime time. That's despite Google itself tweeting Friday that the online triage tool is only "in the early stages of development" by one of its subsidiaries, Verily (that's the subsidiary, not us being Shakespearean). At this point, the site is being developed only for the Bay Area, but sure, a Verily spokesperson said the company hopes to expand it nationwide "over time."
Trump said yesterday he'd spoken with the "head of Google, who is a great gentleman," although Trump didn't mention the dude's name — probably Alphabet Inc. CEO Sundar Pichai — and claimed that that great gentleman had "called us and he apologized, I don't know where the press got their fake news, but they got it some place." Not sure why Pichai would apologize if the site were up and running for everyone, but the point is that Trump is right and you are wrong.
As proof that the website was nearly ready to go, Trump waved around a printout of some tweets, dropped it to the floor, and then griped at reporters more. Just to be clear, nothing in the tweets claimed the website is just about to go online.
"As you know this is from Google, they put out a release, and you guys can figure it out yourselves, and how that got out," Trump added. "I'm sure you'll apologize. It'll be great if we can really give the news correctly."
It's a real site, it's perfect, and if you don't see it then you're dumb. Vox unpatriotically notes that Trump "did not roll out the site Sunday, as both he and Vice President Mike Pence promised would happen," which just proves that the media hates our Great Leader.
What Groceries Would The Mongols Hoard If The Mongol Horde Got Bored?
Then it was on to groceries and hoarding. Trump praised the CEOs of grocery chains and some food companies, with whom he'd had a conference call that afternoon. In the middle of the list, he bragged that Friday's emergency declaration made the market go up 2000 points. Then, unlike George Bush's advice after 9/11, Trump suggested you may want to scale back your shopping just a little bit.
People shouldn't go out and buy ... We're gonna all be great! We're gonna be so good! We're gonna do ... What's happened with the Fed is phenomenal news. What's happening with all of these incredible companies is phenomenal news. You don't have to buy so much. Just take it easy, just relax. People are going in and they're buying more, they ...
I remember, I guess, during the conversation, Doug of Walmart said that they're buying more than they buy at Christmas. Relax, we're doing great, it all will pass. The folks that we spoke to, they're gonna do a fantastic job, they're gonna meet the needs of the public, they're going 'round the clock if they have to, they're committed to the communities they serve, and which they serve so beautifully and have for a long time. And they're buying a lot of additional things to sell.
But again, they ... they actually have asked me to say, "Could you buy a little bit less, please?" I think ... I thought I'd never hear that from a retailer [...]
There's no shortages. We have no shortages — other than people are buying anywhere from three to five times what they would normally buy. It's going to be there for a long time.
Then Trump predicted that once the coronavirus passes — we'll assume he was thinking please God, before the election — the economy will quickly rebound because of "pent-up demand," and explained that the great food moguls of America are making sure there's enough food for everyone, but you people gotta stop panicking, OK, don't panic:
Our supply chains in America are the most powerful in the world, and they're all working very hard. They're working around the clock. And the stores are stocking up at a level that's beyond Christmastime. And it's — it's great. It was very reassuring speaking to these people. They have it totally in hand.
There's no need for anybody in the country to hoard essential food supplies. They said to me, "Could you please tell them just go and buy, enjoy it." Have a nice dinner. Relax. Because there's plenty. But you don't have to the quantities because it's hard to refill the stores on a basis as rapid as they're refilling them.
This is the part where we get to give Trump a fact-check mostly true: As far as food supplies go, we're doing pretty much OK, although people's panic buying has cleaned out a lot of sections of the supermarket, and some assholes are trying to make bank on the temporary shortages of some stuff like hand sanitizer. Because people are idiots, the place I shop was completely out of bottled water yesterday, although the municipal water supply is fine. I wouldn't be surprised if some Home Depots are selling out of generators and plywood, because what's the difference between a hurricane and a virus?
Mind you, it's actually possible to be calming without pretending everything will soon be perfectly fine, which is what Trump was up to here. Saying "relax, it all will pass" is the same sort of wishful thinking that Trump has been pushing all along, and that's not helpful. Jesus, where's George Bailey to explain why a run on the bank won't help anything?
Sick, Sick, Sick
Trump closed with some outright fake news of his own about the risks of the virus, because he really wants everything to be fine. Truth Sandwich time: As Dr. Anthony Fauci explained earlier Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union," the coronavirus health risks for young, healthy people are generally not severe, but they can still get infected and spread it to people who are at risk, like older people and people of all ages with chronic medical issues like heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease.
Younger people should be concerned for two reasons. You are not immune or safe from getting seriously ill, even though, when you look at the total numbers, it's overwhelmingly weighted towards the elderly and those with underlying conditions.
But the virus isn't a mathematical formula. There are going to be people who were young who are going to wind up getting seriously ill. So, protect yourself.
But, remember, you could also be a vector or a carrier. And even though you don't get seriously ill, you could bring it to a person who would bring it to a person that would bring it to your grandfather, your grandmother, or your elderly relative.
That's why you — everybody's got to take this seriously, even the young.
Trump instead talked as if the youngs can pretty much ignore this:
I think, very important, the young people and people of good health, and groups of people, just are not strongly affected. Elderly people that are not well, or not well in certain respects, are, really, a very dangerous group. We have to watch them. We have to protect them very much. We have to really watch over them and protect them because they are very vulnerable.
Hey, idiot: You know how you protect them? By EVERYONE making sure they protect themselves from the virus. What might help, for instance, would be if everyone caring for the most vulnerable could get tested, too. But that's not possible yet, so people are terrified they may infect a vulnerable loved one. And other idiots will say "Tonight, we are young," and go right out and set the world on fire. Especially since they've been told everything's fine, this is just the common cold, or also a Deep State plot, and it's a great time to go out and party.
Oh, there we go spreading panic to hurt Donald Trump again.
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Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.