During Tuesday’s coronavirus press briefing at the White House, President Donald Trump insisted that he’s long believed that the coronavirus crisis currently gripping the nation was a pandemic. Asked about his notable shift to a grim and serious tone towards coronavirus, the president said that he saw that “people liked it” but that he “didn’t feel different.”
“I’ve always known this is a real—this is a pandemic. I felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic,” Trump declared. Eight days prior, however, Trump complained on Twitter that the “Fake News Media” and Democrats were doing everything to “inflame the CoronaVirus situation” while claiming the “risk is low to the average American.” He also optimistically predicted late last month that the number of positive cases in the country would soon reach “zero.”
Elsewhere in the briefing, when pressed about his repeated use of the term “Chinese virus” for COVID-19, Trump claimed it was a response to China spreading conspiracy theories and propaganda. “Rather than having an argument, I said, I have to call it where it came from. It did come from China,” he exclaimed. Earlier in the day, CBS reporter Weijia Jiang said a White House official referred to the coronavirus as “Kung-Flu” to her face.