President Donald Trump praised his administration’s work on the coronavirus pandemic as “incredible” on Monday despite repeated missteps, including long delays in dispensing test kits. Then he attempted to shift the blame to a nameless “somebody” from “a long time ago.”
“There has been so much unnecessary death in this country,” Trump said, adding:
“It could have been stopped and it could have been stopped short, but somebody a long time ago, it seems, decided not to do it that way. And the whole world is suffering because of it.”
Based on his comments at another point in the event, Trump was likely referring to China.
“We are not happy with China,” he said, adding that the spread of the infection could have been “stopped at the source” if Beijing had taken earlier action.
But given Trump’s own history and his administration’s delays in acting to slow the spread of the virus, critics were quick to point out that the president could’ve been talking about himself.
On Feb. 26, Trump predicted the number of U.S. cases would be “down to close to zero,” and on Feb. 27, he said the infection would disappear “like a miracle.” To date, more than 988,000 Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and at least 50,000 Americans with the virus have died.
Trump also repeatedly promised tests that didn’t materialize:
The buck stops with "somebody a long time ago" https://t.co/R84nJHO1OQ
— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) April 27, 2020
Who’s going to tell him?… https://t.co/1LSNznoO1j
— Katie Phang (@KatiePhang) April 27, 2020
“Somebody a long time ago could have stopped this?”Who is he talking about?Is it a rare moment or self-reflection or another shot at the Chinese, @BarackObama or “nasty” governors?
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) April 27, 2020
Somebody = TrumpA long time ago = February Now. Ask him about bleach. https://t.co/DrDlZt0PZY
— Steve Marmel (@Marmel) April 27, 2020
Trump just punted the blame for coronavirus on "somebody, a long time ago" who decided this was going to happen and OK I laughed.
— Linette Lopez (@lopezlinette) April 27, 2020
When you’re so lazy & irresponsible you can’t even come up with a specific person or thing to blame for all the “unnecessary death” that you caused, so you just say “somebody a long time ago decided not to do it that way.” Somebody. A long time ago. 🤦🏼♂️pic.twitter.com/Ah0T2wYI2a
— Andrew Wortman (@AmoneyResists) April 27, 2020
The buck stops nowhere. https://t.co/XUO9kQnP3T
— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) April 28, 2020
The disease “could have been stopped, it could have been stopped a long time ago. But somebody decided not to do it that way."Sounded like a confession.
— Helen Kennedy (@HelenKennedy) April 27, 2020
I don’t think I’d call a few months back “a long time ago,” but otherwise, excellent points here by President Somebody. https://t.co/CdQQ7reR2A
— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) April 27, 2020 A HuffPost Guide To Coronavirus Stay up to date with our live blog as we cover the COVID-19 pandemic What happens if we end social distancing too soon? What you need to know about face masks right now How long are asymptomatic carriers contagious? Lost your job due to coronavirus? Here’s what you need to know. Everything you need to know about coronavirus and grief Parenting during the coronavirus crisis? The HuffPost guide to working from home What coronavirus questions are on your mind right now? We want to help you find answers. Everyone deserves accurate information about COVID-19. Support journalism without a paywall — and keep it free for everyone — by becoming a HuffPost member today. Download Calling all HuffPost superfans! Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost’s next chapter Join HuffPost