In His Own Words, Trump on the Pandemic and Masks

During the course of the outbreak, the president has expressed confidence that the virus would quickly go away and skepticism about the value of wearing masks.

By Lew Serviss and Azi Paybarah

Jan. 22

Asked by a CNBC reporter whether there were “worries about a pandemic,” the president replied:

“No, not at all. We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.”

Jan. 30

Speaking in Warren, Mich.

“We have very little problem in this country at this moment — five. And those people are all recuperating successfully.”

Feb. 14

Addressing the National Border Patrol Council:

“There’s a theory that, in April, when it gets warm — historically, that has been able to kill the virus. So we don’t know yet; we’re not sure yet.”

Feb. 24

In a tweet:

“The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. We are in contact with everyone and all relevant countries. CDC & World Health have been working hard and very smart. Stock Market starting to look very good to me!”

Feb. 26

At a White House news conference, commenting on the country’s first reported cases:

“We’re going to be pretty soon at only five people. And we could be at just one or two people over the next short period of time. So we’ve had very good luck.”

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