Trump: More Americans Have Died Under My Watch Than Michelle Obama Gives Me Credit For

A winning 2020 slogan.

Patrick Semansky/AP

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It didn’t take long for President Trump to hit back at Michelle Obama after the former first lady, in a searing speech for the Democratic National Convention on Monday, made the case for why he’s simply not up to the job.

But Trump’s attempt to stick up for himself instantly backfired when he criticized Obama for pre-recording the video of her speech. “It was not only taped,” Trump complained, “it was taped a long time ago because she had the wrong [coronavirus] deaths.” 

He’s technically correct here, but that’s not a good thing. Obama, who said there were more than 150,000 US deaths from the coronavirus pandemic, was referring to a number that by Monday had become outdated. The death toll has now surpassed 170,000. Trump apparently wanted to remind everyone that more Americans have died from the coronavirus under his watch than a political opponent had given him credit him for. “She gets these fawning reviews,” Trump continued. “If you gave her a real review, it wouldn’t be so fawning.”

But the self-own goes further. According to the New York Times, Trump—who was speaking at a White House event to mark the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment that gave women the right to vote—was hoping to pardon the suffragist Susan B. Anthony and create a news story that could divert attention from the DNC. Clearly, that plan failed.

Since Trump is reminding you, here’s a look back at his disastrous leadership during the coronavirus pandemic.

Video

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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