In His Own Words, Trump on the Pandemic and Masks

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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.”

Feb. 26

Flanked by top health officials from several government agencies:

“The risk to the American people remains very low. We have the greatest experts, really in the world, right here.”

Feb. 27

At a White House meeting:

“It’s going to disappear. One day — it’s like a miracle — it will disappear.”

March 3

Speaking to reporters:

“There’s only one hot spot, and that’s also pretty much in a very — in a home, as you know, in a nursing home.”

March 7

Asked at Mar-a-Lago whether he was concerned that the virus was getting closer to the White House and Washington:

“No, I’m not concerned at all. No, I’m not. No, we’ve done a great job.”

March 16

In the White House briefing room:

“So it could be right in that period of time where it, I say, wash — it washes through. Other people don’t like that term. But where it washes through.”

March 30

Asked whether mask-wearing could prevent transmissions:

“We haven’t discussed it, but we could. We are getting the number of masks you need.”

April 3

Speaking at the White House:

“The C.D.C. is advising the use of non-medical cloth face covering as an additional voluntary public health measure. So it’s voluntary. You don’t have to do it. They suggested for a period of time. But this is voluntary. I don’t think I’m going to be doing it.”

“I just don’t want to be doing, I don’t know somehow sitting in the Oval Office behind that beautiful resolute desk the great resolute desk. I think wearing a face mask as I greet presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens. I don’t know, somehow I don’t see it for myself. I just, I just don’t.”

May 21

Touring a Ford plant:

“I wore one” — a mask — “in the back area. I didn’t want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it.”

July 19

To the Fox News host Chris Wallace:

“I don’t agree with the statement that if everybody wears a mask, everything disappears.”

Aug. 13

Speaking at the White House:

“My administration has a different approach: We have urged Americans to wear masks. And I emphasized this is a patriotic thing to do. Maybe they’re great and maybe they’re just good. Maybe they’re not so good.”

Sept. 7

Asking a reporter to remove a mask while asking a question:

“If you don’t take it off you’re very muffled.”

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