The world may be experiencing a global pandemic, but not even an unprecedented viral infection can stop Donald J. Trump from telling his lies. On Tuesday the commander-in-chief rewrote history, claiming to have known that the coronavirus was a pandemic all along, despite being openly skeptical about the illness a little over a week ago.

“I’ve always known this is a real — this is a pandemic,” Mr. Trump told reporters during a televised press conference. “I felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic. I’ve always viewed it as very serious.”

But this is a lie. In fact, there’s not a single thing factual about this statement. Not even a fraction of an ounce of truth can be found in his words. It’s so flagrant that the Washington Post might as well put this at the very top of it’s running list of false or misleading claims (read: lies) given by the occupier of the Oval Office. 

WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 26: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the beginning of a new conference with members of the coronavirus task force, including Vice President Mike Pence in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House February 26, 2020 in Washington, DC. Trump updated the American people about what his administration’s ‘whole of government’ response to the global coronavirus outbreak. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

What prompted this answer was a question posed by NBC’s Kristen Welker, where she asked Trump what caused his shift in tone when talking about the outbreak. He claimed there was no shift, doubling down on claims made last Friday, that the administration intervened early which ultimately saved lives. He even tweeted out his revisionist history via Twitter on Wednesday morning.

But let’s be clear. On March 9, just days before WHO officially announced that COVID-19 was a global pandemic, Trump tweeted, “The Fake News Media and their partner, the Democrat Party, is doing everything within its semi-considerable power (it used to be greater!) to inflame the CoronaVirus situation, far beyond what the facts would warrant. Surgeon General, ‘The risk is low to the average American.'”

Two days before that, Trump, from an infected Mar-a-Lago, said he had no concerns about the virus spreading closer to Washington. On Feb. 28, at a rally in North Charleston, S.C., Trump suggested that the coronavirus was a “hoax” made up by the left to undermine his leadership. The day before he called it a virus that would “disappear” like a miracle. Feb. 26 he claimed, “We’re going to be pretty soon at only five people. And we could be at just one or two people over the next short period of time. So we’ve had very good luck.”

And the nail in the “I called it before everybody else” coffin is the statement he made on January 22nd. When asked by a CNBC reporter if there were “worries about a pandemic,” the impeached president said, “No, not at all. We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.”

Americans know by now that it is not “just fine.” On Monday British researchers released a report indicating that up to 2.2 million Americans could die of the virus if there is no drastic intervention. By Wednesday at publication, 100 U.S. deaths were attributed to the virus that has now reached every state and U.S. territory. 

ESSENCE is committed to bringing our audience the latest facts about COVID-19 (coronavirus). Our content team is closely monitoring the developing details surrounding the virus via official sources and health care experts, including the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Please continue to refresh ESSENCE’s informational hub for updates on COVID-19, as well as tips for taking care of yourselves, your families, and your communities.


Loading the player...