‘It’s all they talk about’: Trump fumes
Donald Trump has gone after the news media for its continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, saying it "should be an election law violation".
"We're rounding the turn. You know, all they want to talk about is COVID," Mr Trump told his supporters at a rally in Pennsylvania today, pointing at the media pen behind them.
"By the way, on November 4, you won't be hearing so much about it. 'COVID, COVID COVID. COVID! Today let's talk about COVID.' All over Europe, right, Europe spike. They don't talk about that.
"No, we are rounding the turn, and we have the vaccines coming out very soon, years ahead of schedule."
In case you're wondering, yes we have covered the surge in cases across Europe, and so have the President's least favourite US media outlets, such as CNN and his hometown newspaper, The New York Times.
November 4 is the day after the election. Mr Trump was suggesting the media would stop covering the pandemic the moment it no longer has any effect on his re-election prospects.
Mr Trump echoed the same words in a series of tweets, adding in a dash of his regular argument that cases are only rising across the US because it tests so much.
"We have made tremendous progress with the China virus, but the fake news refuses to talk about it this close to the election," he said.
"COVID, COVID, COVID is being used by them, in total co-ordination, in order to change our great early election numbers. Should be an election law violation!
"Cases up because we TEST, TEST, TEST. A fake news media conspiracy.
"Many young people who heal very fast, 99.9 per cent. Corrupt media conspiracy at all time high. On November 4, topic will totally change.
"The fake news media is riding COVID, COVID, COVID, all the way to the election. Losers!"
Lest you think I'm making up these quotes, here are the tweets in question.
We have made tremendous progress with the China Virus, but the Fake News refuses to talk about it this close to the Election. COVID, COVID, COVID is being used by them, in total coordination, in order to change our great early election numbers.Should be an election law violation!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 26, 2020
This is a continuation of some relatively fresh rhetoric, which Mr Trump first tried out at a couple of rallies last week.
"They (Americans) are getting tired of the pandemic aren't they? Getting tired of the pandemic," he said in Arizona on October 19.
"You turn on CNN. That's all they cover. 'COVID, COVID, pandemic, COVID, COVID, COVID, COVID.' You know why? They're trying to talk everybody out of voting. People aren't buying it CNN, you dumb bastards. They're not buying it.
"That's all they talk about. I watch this guy, he's got lousy ratings. Fredo. You know Fredo? He's got horrible ratings, and he's talking about the pandemic.
"That's all they talk about. You know? I don't know. He said he had it. I'm not sure he had it. He went to the basement. It's the only time his ratings were up."
For those of you unfamiliar with the President's repertoire of nicknames, he was talking about one of the network's evening hosts, Chris Cuomo, who caught the virus back in March and spent a few weeks broadcasting from home as he recovered.
"The pandemic is rounding the corner. They hate it when I say it," Mr Trump said on October 21, in North Carolina.
"You turn on to this MSDNC and fake news CNN, all you hear is, 'COVID, COVID, COVID, COVID, COVID, COVID, COVID, COVID, COVID, COVID, COVID.' That's all they put on, because they want to scare the hell out of everyone."
To laboriously explain another nickname here, MSDNC was a reference to MSNBC, but with a couple of letters changed. The DNC is the Democratic National Committee.
"The more testing you have, the more cases. They say, 'Cases are up.' Yeah, testing is up," the President continued.
"We have more testing than India, China, and almost every other country put together. You could say it's ridiculous. At the same time, we did a good job, but it shows a lot of cases.
"We did do a great job. Normal life will fully resume, and next year will be the greatest economic year in the history of our country. That's where we're headed.
"This election is a choice between a Trump super recovery or a Biden steep depression, and that's what you're going to have. It's between a Trump boom or a Biden lockdown. He wants to lock you down."
I'll give you one more example, this time from a rally on October 25.
"That's all I hear about now. Turn on the television, 'COVID, COVID. COVID, COVID, COVID.' A plane goes down, 500 people dead, and they don't talk about it," Mr Trump told another crowd in North Carolina.
"'COVID, COVID, COVID, COVID. By the way, on November 4 you won't hear about it anymore. 'COVID! COVID! Please don't go and vote, COVID.'"
For the record, there was no plane crash for the media to talk about. I assume Mr Trump was saying that, hypothetically speaking, the news media would not talk about a plane crash if one were to happen.
Trump at NC rally: "Turn on television, COVID, COVID, COVID, COVID, COVID, COVID. A plane goes down, 500 people dead, they don't talk about it. COVID, COVID, COVID. COVID. By the way, on November 4th you won't hear about it anymore."— The Recount (@therecount) October 24, 2020
(A plane crash killing 500 didn't happen.) pic.twitter.com/NOYqTIcXGd
The US has repeatedly broken its own record for the most new coronavirus infections in one day over the past week, passing 85,000 cases on Friday.
The virus has killed 225,000 Americans, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. More than 40,000 are currently hospitalised.
In its latest snapshot of the situation across the country, COVID Exit Strategy classes 33 states as having "uncontrolled spread", and a further 14 as having increases in cases.
Just two of the 50 states are trending in the right direction.
Nationally, the proportion of coronavirus tests returning positive results has risen above 6 per cent, and that number is in the high double digits in some of the worst-hit states.
Here's today's snapshot of each state's progress in reducing COVID cases/hospitalizations/death, via https://t.co/MfkeAwFiDG— Jennifer Bendery (@jbendery) October 26, 2020
Green is trending better.
Yellow is caution warranted.
Red is going downhill.
Bruised red is uncontrolled spread.
During last week's final presidential debate, Mr Trump again told Americans they were "rounding the turn", and insisted the surge in infections would soon be gone.
"As you know, 2.2 million people, modelled out, were expected to die," Mr Trump said.
He was referring to a study published by British academics back in March, which predicted what would happen if governments and citizens did nothing whatsoever to slow the virus's spread. It was not an expectation so much as a worst-case scenario.
"It's a worldwide pandemic, it's all over the world. You see the spikes in Europe and many other countries," Mr Trump continued.
"There was a very big spike in Texas. It's now gone. There was a very big spike in Arizona. It's now gone. And there are some spikes and surges in other places, they will soon be gone.
"We have a vaccine that's coming. It's ready. It's going to be announced within weeks. And it's going to be delivered.
"We're rounding the turn, we're rounding the corner. It's going away."
Originally published as 'It's all they talk about': Trump fumes
Cases up because we TEST, TEST, TEST. A Fake News Media Conspiracy. Many young people who heal very fast. 99.9%. Corrupt Media conspiracy at all time high. On November 4th., topic will totally change. VOTE!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 26, 2020
The Fake News Media is riding COVID, COVID, COVID, all the way to the Election. Losers!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 26, 2020