Hot Air

Trump on injecting disinfectant to fight coronavirus: I was being sarcastic; Update: Birx defends Trump, sort of

He wasn’t being sarcastic. Watch the two clips I posted yesterday, especially the second one where he looked to Deborah Birx for validation that there might be something to his idea. (Birx didn’t laugh.) His own press secretary didn’t claim he was joking in her statement this morning, instead emphasizing that Trump always tells people to consult with doctors when he floats a treatment idea.

But the real proof is how few members of MAGA media claimed in the aftermath of yesterday’s briefing that he was joking. Did anyone? The excuses I saw were all of the “he meant to say X but misspoke” variety.

I don’t blame him for saying he was being sarcastic, though, no matter how plain the evidence to the contrary is. It’s like Pee Wee Herman tumbling off his bike in front of a bunch of kids. Sometimes the only dignified way to spin a screw-up is to brush yourself off and say, “I meant to do that.”

The item below is making the rounds today on political Twitter. I thought it was a goof on yesterday’s presser — but then I noticed it’s a month old, a joke on Trump’s romance with longshot panaceas like hydroxychloroquine:

The best part of his “sarcasm” spin is that he’ll inevitably double down on it at today’s briefing, purely to spare himself from having to admit error, and then the media will spend the next 24 hours replaying the original clip to prove that he wasn’t being sarcastic. Birx and Fauci are destined to be asked about it — “Did you take him as being sarcastic?” — and will have to give some uncomfortable-sounding answer like, “If the president says he was being sarcastic then I take him at his word.”

Then, once the whole story has blown over, he’ll forget his own spin and mention injecting something to “clean” the lungs at tomorrow’s briefing.

Actually, he’s already doing it:

This story is amusing in an “I can’t believe this guy is running the country” kind of way but the amusement rests on the assumption that no one who watched yesterday’s briefing could possibly be so foolish as to ingest disinfectant to try to corona-proof themselves. Problem is, this is a big country. There are a lot of very frightened, impressionable people out there. And so:

That’s Gov. Larry Hogan’s spokesman. Baltimore’s health department also sees cause for alarm:

If Trump had only limited his comments yesterday to bringing a “very powerful light” inside the body, the worst we’d have to worry about today is idiots shining flashlights down their throats.

Here’s Pelosi seizing the opportunity to smear all Republicans as anti-science because, she claims, the president wants people “to inject Lysol into their lungs.” He never said they should inject themselves, let alone with Lysol. He merely implied it.

Update: She’s going to get the Medal of Freedom someday. And she’ll have earned it, partially for the indignity she tolerated in having to spin like this.

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