Media Charges Trump With Calling Coronavirus A ‘Hoax.’ He Didn’t.

Media Charges Trump With Calling Coronavirus A ‘Hoax.’ He Didn’t.

The mainstream media has run wild, saying President Donald Trump used the word “hoax” to describe the threat of a coronavirus pandemic.

“Trump calls Coronavirus Democrats’ ‘new hoax,’” blasted an NBC headline.

“Trump fends off criticism of ‘hoax’ remarks after first U.S. coronavirus death,” wrote the Guardian.

“Trump rallies his base to treat Coronavirus as a ‘hoax,’” charged Politico, which had its article tagged on Facebook as misleading after review from independent fact-checkers.

A responsible listening to Trump’s remarks, however, reveals Trump said no such thing. Trump was charging Democrats with politicizing the virus to score cheap points against the administration as they did with the Russia hoax and impeachment.

Here’s the video of the president’s comments in question:

“Now the Democrats are politicizing the coronavirus,” Trump complained.

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 you got in. It’s all turning, they lost, it’s all turning. Think of it. Think of it. And this is their new hoax.”

Even some mainstream reporters have explained Trump wasn’t claiming coronavirus itself was a hoax.

“He was saying the hoax is that he’s handled it badly. Not the virus itself,” said Will Saletan, a national correspondent for the left-wing Slate.

“I heard it as him saying *Democrats’/media criticism of his handling of the virus* was their latest hoax,” wrote Daniel Dale, a reporter for CNN.

Trump’s comments during Friday night’s South Carolina rally, on the eve of the state’s primary, come as Democrats have argued the administration’s response to the outbreak has been lackluster. Meanwhile, House Democrats passed legislation Friday banning flavored tobacco products, including those used in e-cigarettes, while providing no supplemental funding to combat the coronavirus pandemic threat.

Tristan Justice is a staff writer at The Federalist focusing on the 2020 presidential campaigns. Follow him on Twitter at @JusticeTristan or contact him at [email protected]
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