Donald Trump Just Went on TV and Compared COVID-19 to a Campfire, We Think

Jabin Botsford/Getty

The coronavirus is a rapidly developing news story, so some of the content in this article might be out of date. Check out our most recent coverage of the coronavirus crisis, and subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

At an industry roundtable on Wednesday, Trump set out to assure Americans that soon the country will reopen, the coronavirus will disappear, and things will be just as they were three months ago. 

And then he took questions.

“Without a vaccine, sir, why do you think the the virus is going to be gone?” asked CBS News reporter Ben Tracy.

“It’s gonna go,” Trump responded. “It’s gonna leave. It’s gonna be gone. It’s gonna be eradicated. It might take longer, it might be in smaller sections. It won’t be what we had.” He went on, “If you have a flare-up in a certain area—I call them burning embers—boom, we put it out. We know how to put it out now.” 

It perhaps goes without saying that we are a long way from “knowing how to put it out.” Yesterday, the American death toll from the coronavirus surpassed that of the Vietnam War. More than a million Americans have tested positive for the virus; less than 2 percent of Americans have been tested. 

Perhaps exchanges like these are why, per the Washington Post, officials have advised Trump to stop answering questions from reporters. 

MOTHER JONES NEEDS YOUR HELP

Straight to the point: Donations have been concerningly slow for our hugely important First $500,000 fundraising campaign. We urgently need your help, and a lot of help, over the next few weeks so we can pay for the one-of-a-kind journalism you get from us.

Learn more in “Less Dreading, More Doing,” where we lay out this wild moment and how we can keep charging hard for you. And please help if you can: $5, $50, or $500—every gift from every person truly matters right now.

payment methods

MOTHER JONES NEEDS YOUR HELP

Straight to the point: Donations have been concerningly slow for our hugely important First $500,000 fundraising campaign. We urgently need your help, and a lot of help, over the next few weeks so we can pay for the one-of-a-kind journalism you get from us.

Learn more in “Less Dreading, More Doing,” where we lay out this wild moment and how we can keep charging hard for you. And please help if you can: $5, $50, or $500—every gift from every person truly matters right now.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate