Donald Trump, a president whose persistent untruths and obfuscation led to a disastrous pandemic response that has left more than 165,000 people dead in the US, was asked if he regrets all the lies he’s told to the American people. He skipped the question.
HuffPost senior White House correspondent S.V. Dáte asked the president during Thursday’s coronavirus task force briefing if, after 3½ years, “do you regret at all the lying you’ve done to the American people? All the dishonesties?”
“That who has done?” Trump replied.
“You have done,” said Dáte, who wrote at length about Trump’s “Ministry of Untruth” earlier this year.
Trump paused and then moved on to the next question.
In his report, Dáte noted that Trump’s stream of falsehoods across nearly every topic and in any setting is corroding America’s democracy as it normalises lies coming from the nation’s highest office.
According to a running fact-check database by The Washington Post, Trump has made more than 20,000 false or misleading claims since taking office. Last month, as the tracker passed the shocking milestone, the project’s editor, Glenn Kessler, and fact-check reporters Salvador Rizzo and Meg Kelly wrote, “The notion that Trump would exceed 20,000 claims before he finished his term appeared ludicrous when The Fact Checker started this project during the president’s first 100 days in office.”
In that time, its authors noted, Trump on average made fewer than five false claims a day. “But the tsunami of untruths just keeps looming larger and larger,” they said.
The events of the past 15 months ― including Trump’s impeachment trial, the coronavirus pandemic that’s infected millions and shattered the economy, and nationwide anti-racism protests over the death of George Floyd and other Black men and women in police custody ― have filled an entirely new ballpark of falsehoods from the president, and the tally continues to climb.
According to the database, he reached nearly a thousand false claims about coronavirus alone in just a matter of months. His persistent downplaying of the virus, suppression of warnings from experts and repeated pushes to prematurely reopen businesses, speculating that the virus will just “go away,” has contributed to a resurgence of Covid-19 in the U.S. that’s killing more than a thousand people each day.