Watch Trump’s Bizarre, Maskless RNC Opener

The president doubled down on xenophobia and misinformation about the coronavirus.

NewsNOW from FOX/Youtube

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

President Donald Trump doubled down on xenophobia and misinformation about the coronavirus during his first appearance during the Monday night broadcast of the Republican National Convention. During the short, stilted interaction filmed at the White House, Trump, surrounded by seven unmasked people with their hands clasped in front of them, attempted to talk to ordinary people.

“These are my friends,” he said, as one does. “These are the incredible workers who helped us so much with the COVID.” 

He then asked asking the group to tell “their stories,” which mainly meant listing their professions: postal worker, post office custodian, nurse.

“How about you?” he said, turning to a goateed man.

“I’m a trucker.”

“Good!” the president exclaimed. 

Throughout the appearance, Trump referred to the coronavirus using a racist term: “We can call it many different things, from China virus, I don’t want to go through all the different names, because some people might get insulted, but that’s the way it is.”

After a registered nurse thanked Trump for his leadership and added, unironically, that she admired him for “not [being] offended by all the words being said” about his coronavirus response, Trump replied “I’m for the nurses, I’m for the doctors, I’m for everybody—we just have to make this China virus go away, and it’s happening.” More than 177,000 people in the United States have died of COVID-19 so far, and the number of new deaths per day are still climbing in some places.

When a sheriff’s deputy who works in a California jail mentioned he had recovered from COVID-19, Trump asked what had been done for him.

“They gave me Zpacks, medication, cough syrup,” the deputy replied. 

“And I won’t even ask you about the hydroxychloroquine—it’s a shame what they’ve done to that one—but I took it. I took the z pack also. And zinc!” the president replies.

No matter how much Trump touts hydrochloriquine, it doesn’t change the facts: The Food and Drug Administration warns against administering hydroxycloroquine for COVID-19 outside a hospital setting. On Friday, the Infections Diseases Society of America revised its guidelines to say the anti-malarial drug should not be used to treat coronavirus patients, even in hospitals.

Meanwhile zinc’s protective effects against the coronavirus are “unknown,” according to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. “Studies suggest zinc may slow the ability of viruses to make copies of themselves inside your body,” the academies say. “But there has not been enough research specifically on how zinc affects coronaviruses.” 

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate