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

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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. 

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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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