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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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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