Trump: Keep ’Em On the Ship. I Don’t Want Our Coronavirus Numbers To Go Up.

President Trump leaves the White House after a grueling day signing the coronavirus emergency funding bill sent to him by Congress.Stefani Reynolds/CNP via ZUMA

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This. Is. Fucking Nuts.

Here’s the whole quote regarding the passengers trapped on the Grand Princess cruise ship off the San Francisco coast:

[My experts] would like to have the people come off. I’d rather have the people stay, but I’d go with them. I told them to make the final decision.¹ I would rather—because I like the numbers being where they are. I don’t need to have the numbers double because of one ship that wasn’t our fault.²

A minute later a reporter asks Trump about disbanding the White House pandemic response team in 2018. His answer: “I just think this is something that you can never really think is going to happen.”

This is all so, so unfunny. In just a couple of weeks, Trump has gone from being a boob, but a relatively benign one, to a boob who could end up killing a lot of people. As near as I can tell, he thinks about the rate of coronavirus infections the same way he thinks about Nielsen ratings or golf scores. The only thing that matters is whether the numbers reflect well on him or not.

Holy hell.

¹This is not Trump’s normal MO, but in this case it allows him to evade responsibility for whatever happens going forward. In his visceral way, even Trump realizes that his usual line of BS won’t affect the reality on the ground of people dying from the coronavirus. He wants as little responsibility for it as possible.

²Needless to say, the numbers “count” regardless of whether the victims are on a ship or on dry land. Trump’s idiocy truly knows no bounds.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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