Trump's final mention of the pandemic as president includes racist conspiracy theory, downplayed deaths, and no regrets

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Jeva Lange
·1 min read
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President Trump used the past tense to talk about the pandemic in his farewell address to the country, one day after the 400,000th American died of COVID-19. "As bad as the pandemic was," he told his assembled crowd of about 200 supporters, "we were hit so hard like the entire world was hit so hard."

Trump went on to repeat a racist and debunked conspiracy theory about the origins of the virus, calling the "China virus" a "horrible thing that was put onto the world … so be careful, be very, very careful." He additionally claimed that he believed COVID-19 numbers would "skyrocket downward," and that he was leaving the country in "a position like it's never been in before, despite the worst plague to hit since, I guess you'd say since 1917, over 100 years ago" — an apparent reference to the 1918 influenza pandemic.

Trump further acknowledged "the people and families who suffered so greatly" in the pandemic, but stressed he had no regrets about his handling of the outbreak. "We have left it all, as the athletes would say, we have left it all on the field," he said. "We'll never say, in a month, when we're in Florida, we're not going to be looking at each other and saying, 'You know, if we'd only worked a little bit harder…'"

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