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“NOTHING LIKE THIS HAS EVER HAPPENED”
by Sharon Rondeau
(Sep. 10, 2020) — President Trump gave a press conference Thursday afternoon in which he said that the U.S. infection rate for coronavirus has reduced significantly, by 44% since the month of July.
Conversely, he said, European nations such as Italy are experiencing upswings in cases.
On education, he said studies have shown that “in-person learning” is best for schoolchildren. Two large placards on tripods in back of the podium read, “Colleges and universities are extremely low-risk environments” as Trump spoke about college sports, some of which are not scheduled to take place this fall as a result of the virus.
He said that thus far, “not one” college student who tested “positive” for the virus has been hospitalized.
He accused Joe Biden of “reading off a teleprompter” when speaking about the virus, which he said his Democratic opponent is “using for political purposes.”
His administration “saved millions of lives” by closing travel from China early in the pandemic, Trump said.
He accused Biden of having “launched a campaign against the vaccine,” referring to a coronavirus vaccine or vaccines which the administration says may be ready in the near future. “Biden’s perfectly happy to endanger the lives of other people” to help his election chances, Trump said. “I had to go back to work, and it looks like we’re going up very rapidly,” Trump said, referring to his poll numbers.
He said the Democrats view the virus as necessitating a “blanket shutdown,” whereas his administration “is not doing any more shutdowns.”
“The swine flu was a disaster,” he continued, referring to the U.S. outbreak which killed approximately 14,000 while Obama and Biden were in office. “His own chief of staff said that when Biden helped manage the swine flu in 2009, he did everything possible wrong,” the president said, and that the Obama regime “ordered the CDC to stop counting cases” while depleting the national stockpile of necessary supplies. “If we didn’t do what we did…now you can look at Europe and you can look at other places and start comparing…” Trump defended his administration’s approach to the COVID-19 phenomenon.
He then spoke about Biden’s son Hunter, who he said was involved in selling a Michigan company “to China.” “You don’t want to write about that, do you?” he said parenthetically to members of the press seated in the Brady Briefing Rom. “The Biden family got paid a lot of money” for benefiting China, Trump said, a claim his personal attorney, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has claimed.
This evening Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will leave for Dohar, Qatar to broker a peace agreement in Afghanistan, Trump said. “A lot of progress is being made in Afghanistan, and we’ll be down to 4,000 soldiers in a very short period of time,” he said.
He characterized American forces as “pretty-much out of Syria and pretty-much out of Iraq.” Of war-torn Afghanistan, he said, “It’s been going on for almost 20 years, long before I got involved.”
He said next week the UAE will be signing a peace agreement with Israel at the White House, with more countries expected to follow suit. “Mohammed’s very excited about this,” he said, referring to UAE leader .
Talks are now ensuing with the king of Saudi Arabia about a similar agreement with Israel, Trump reported.
Contrary to what public opinion might have been, Trump said, he opposes engaging in new wars even as he has been “rebuilding” the U.S. military.
After approximately 19 minutes, Trump ended his soliloquy and took the first question from ABC’s Jonathan Karl, who accused him of “lying” as suggested by Bob Woodward’s book, “Rage,” pre-released yesterday. Trump immediately said he did not lie to the American people when he told Woodward in a series of interviews that he wished to refrain from instilling panic in the country at the dawn of the pandemic.
“The way you phrased that is such a disgrace,” he said to Karl, who then interrupted, accusing Trump of presenting different scenarios to different audiences. Trump said he “wanted to show that our country is going to be fine one way or the other.”
“There was no lie here; what we’re doing is leading, and we’re leading in the proper way,” he said. “We’re going to get through this…” he said, “and I hope we’ve rounded the final turn. All of the people that have worked so hard…they should be respected for the job they’ve done.”
Karl asked Trump if he were not “downplaying” the risk as evidenced by Woodward’s book. “Don’t give me any credit; give the people who have done this the credit,” Trump said, invoking the production of ventilators during the early months of the pandemic.
Another reporter accused him of failing to “level with the American people,” to which Trump argued that Woodward should have reported the revelation “immediately” if he believed Trump was being dishonest. “He’s had that statement for five months,” Trump said, then stating that he sat with Woodward for approximately 18 hours of interviews “out of curiosity.”
Another reporter asked about the status of the Durham investigation into the origins of the Russia “collusion” probe, to which Trump said he is remaining uninvolved. “Nothing like this has ever happened…because it’s treason, and other words can be used, also,” he said. “I think [former FBI Director James] Comey is a disgrace to our country,” Trump said, adding to that category former FBI Counterintelligence Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok and his one-time paramour, former FBI attorney Lisa Page. He said his firing of Comey in May 2017 “was a great move, because maybe if I didn’t I wouldn’t be talking to you as president.”
“These people got caught in probably the biggest political scandal in history,” he said. “They were spying on their opponent’s campaign…and they hurt a lot of people…General Flynn is still being hurt…he’s been destroyed. I think that without knowing anything about what Durham is going to release…maybe it’s going to be much more than a report, I think it’s a disgrace to our country…this should never, ever happen to another president,” at which point he exited the room as reporters shouted more questions.