President Trump is the master of saying the quiet part out loud, and on Friday he showed no signs of relinquishing that title.
While speaking at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Trump said he would prefer not to allow the more than 3,500 people aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship onto American soil “because I like the [coronavirus] numbers being where they are.”
More from Rolling Stone
Trump blatantly admitted that his initial inclination was to leave the people on the ship, some of whom have tested positive for the coronavirus, solely because of how it would appear, but said he would yield to the wants of the federal health officials who are in charge of the crisis.
“They would like to have the people come off,” Trump said of the health officials. The president continued, “I would like to have the people stay. I told them to make the final decision. I would rather because I like the numbers being where they are. I don’t need to have the numbers double because of one ship that wasn’t our fault. And it wasn’t the fault of the people on the ship either. OK? It wasn’t their fault, either. And they are mostly Americans. So, I can live either way with it.”
Trump added, “I would rather have them stay on, personally. But I fully understand if they want to take them off. I gave them the authority to make the decision.”
The president also continued to lie about the availability of coronavirus tests. “Anybody that needs a test, gets a test. They’re there. They have the tests. And the tests are beautiful,” Trump said. But both patients and doctors nationwide have complained about the lack thereof.
After experiencing symptoms, California resident Cindy Homen told the New York Times that her doctor could not provide her with a test and explained to her in an email, “At this point, testing is very limited.” Homen was told to wash her hands and stay home.
“How do they track the coronavirus if there aren’t enough test kits and they don’t even want you to come in?” Homen added, “This whole thing is just a big joke.”
But according to Trump’s convoluted logic, the tests are not only perfect but they also compare to how perfect his call was to the president of Ukraine that led to him being impeached.
“The [coronavirus] tests are all perfect. Like the letter was perfect. The transcription was perfect. This was not as perfect as that, but pretty good,” Trump said.
Best of Rolling Stone