Trump's false insistence that children are "immune" from the coronavirus and can't spread it is being undermined by new figures showing that nearly 100,000 kids tested positive for the virus in the last two weeks of July. And some of the first schools that are following his calls to fully reopen are being hit by new viral outbreaks almost as soon as classes begin.
The President, in demanding a return to class and for college football to kick off, is making education and collegiate sports the latest area of American life to be contaminated by his false narratives about the pandemic. Almost all of his assurances about the crisis -- which have tended to minimize its impact and ignore science -- have proven to be wrong.
First Trump said the pandemic would not take hold of the United States, but it did. Then he said it would simply disappear and it didn't. Then the President said it was safe to open state economies before the pathogen was fully under control -- steps which helped cause a viral eruption across southern and western states. He's argued against all the principles of epidemiology that testing doesn't matter -- even though nations that have done better than the US have used that route to get the virus under control. Last week, Trump said that there might be a vaccine before Election Day in another self-serving political comment. Now firms developing the inoculation and experts say that's likely impossible.
Instead of taking the worst public health crisis in 100 years seriously and working with fact-based and scientific approaches, Trump has devoted his energy and that of the White House to arguing that a response that is clearly disastrous is a glowing success. He's spent weeks peddling non-cures and portraying the economy in the midst of a "boom" -- even though millions of Americans remain unemployed.
But nearly six months into America's battle with the pandemic, the country has a staggering one-quarter of all the world's 20 million coronavirus cases. Thousands of Americans are dying every week and there are alarming new signs of further spread of the disease in the Midwest, California, Texas and some northeastern cities, even as there are some limited signs of encouragement, in lower infections in Florida for instance.
Yet Trump did what he always did Monday as he identified a preferred outcome -- opening schools and playing college sports -- without providing any evidence that it was safe in a virus-bedeviled nation or a plan got get back to normal.
Instead he painted a rosy, fantastical notion that the nightmare is all but over.
"At the end of a fairly short period of time, you are going to be in very, very good shape all over our country," he said in a meandering briefing that cherry-picked statistics and was packed with misinformation and nonsensical arguments.
Study shows 100K kids infected in two weeks
Problems with the return to school and meetings of college football chiefs that could lead to the season being canceled will further fracture the President's attempts to convince voters that he ha