Trump: More Americans Have Died Under My Watch Than Michelle Obama Gives Me Credit For

A winning 2020 slogan.

Patrick Semansky/AP

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It didn’t take long for President Trump to hit back at Michelle Obama after the former first lady, in a searing speech for the Democratic National Convention on Monday, made the case for why he’s simply not up to the job.

But Trump’s attempt to stick up for himself instantly backfired when he criticized Obama for pre-recording the video of her speech. “It was not only taped,” Trump complained, “it was taped a long time ago because she had the wrong [coronavirus] deaths.” 

He’s technically correct here, but that’s not a good thing. Obama, who said there were more than 150,000 US deaths from the coronavirus pandemic, was referring to a number that by Monday had become outdated. The death toll has now surpassed 170,000. Trump apparently wanted to remind everyone that more Americans have died from the coronavirus under his watch than a political opponent had given him credit him for. “She gets these fawning reviews,” Trump continued. “If you gave her a real review, it wouldn’t be so fawning.”

But the self-own goes further. According to the New York Times, Trump—who was speaking at a White House event to mark the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment that gave women the right to vote—was hoping to pardon the suffragist Susan B. Anthony and create a news story that could divert attention from the DNC. Clearly, that plan failed.

Since Trump is reminding you, here’s a look back at his disastrous leadership during the coronavirus pandemic.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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