So to recap, in the midst of an intensifying public-health emergency, the sitting president of the United States told a national television audience not to believe the research from the World Health Organization’s experts; the virus can be characterized as the “corona flu”; and some people go to work after contracting the virus, which Trump characterized as no big deal because “they get better.”
In case this isn’t already painfully obvious, no good can come of such reckless rhetoric from the chief executive of a global superpower. Sensible and responsible people should not believe what Trump said. By most measures, it would be dangerous to take his rhetoric seriously.
But just as unsettling is the familiarity of these circumstances: as the outbreak has unfolded, Trump has consistently contradicted experts and authorities. As of last night, he feels justified in doing so based on his “hunches.”