President Donald Trump on Friday continued the false and misleading claims that have become a part of White House briefings on coronavirus, wrapping up a week in which the number of confirmed cases across the country topped 100,000.
Trump claimed that 22 days ago, “everything was going beautifully” before the US got hit by what he calls “the invisible enemy.” He said, “22 days ago we had the greatest economy in the world, everything was going beautifully, the stock market hit an all-time high”
How unforeseen the coronavirus crisis was
Multiple times throughout Friday’s press briefing, the President claimed the current situation was unprecedented and unforeseen. According to Trump, “nobody was prepared for this,” not even past presidents. He added, “In all fairness to all of the former presidents, none of them ever thought a thing like this could happen.”
Facts First: This is false. The US intelligence community and public health experts had warned for years that the country was at risk from a pandemic. Experts had also warned that the country would face shortages of critical medical equipment, such as ventilators, if a pandemic occurred.
The former GM plant in Lordstown, Ohio
“…frankly, I think that would be a good place to build the ventilators, but we’ll see,” Trump said.
The coronavirus and the flu
New York and ventilators
Here’s a rough timeline of what happened.
“So the point is, ‘Well they’re in a stockpile, you must not need them’ is just ignorant — of course you don’t need them today!” Cuomo said. “You need them when you hit the apex, which is 30,000. We’re not there yet.”
Tariffs on China
Trump said, “China pays 25% interest on $250 billion worth of product that they send in.”
This story has been updated with additional fact checks.
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