After begging off a question earlier this week about Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s attempt to reopen his state’s economy, President Trump on Wednesday reversed course and weighed in against it.

“I disagree strongly with his decision to open up facilities which are in violation of the Phase I guidelines,” Trump said, referring to federal guidelines for reopening states’ economies. Trump said that it remained Kemp’s call but that the Republican governor’s decision was “too soon.”

It was a significant statement from a president who has himself been eager to begin the process of reopening states. And it also came after Trump previously offered very different comments — ones that vouched for Kemp’s actions.

“He’s a very capable man,” Trump said just a day earlier when asked about the situation in Georgia. “He knows what he’s doing.”

But it was hardly the first time Trump has offered mixed messages — and even directly contradictory ones — on the coronavirus situation. As the outbreak has spread, Trump has often reversed himself and said things that bear no resemblance to previous statements he’s made.

Below are 11 more examples of his uneven commentary on the virus.

His ‘total’ authority vs. governors ‘calling your shots’


April 13: “The authority of the president of the United States, having to do with the subject we’re talking about, is total.” “I have the ultimate authority” on reopening the economy. “The president of the United States calls the shots.”


April 16: “You are going to call your own shots.” “You’re going to be calling your shots.”

The flu comparison


Feb. 26: “This is a flu. This is like a flu.” “Now, you treat this like a flu.” “It’s a little like the regular flu that we have flu shots for.”


March 31: “It’s not the flu. It’s vicious.”

April 22: “Flu is very different from corona.”

On this being a pandemic


Jan. 22: On whether he was worried about a pandemic: “No, we’re not at all. And we have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China.”


March 17: “I’ve always known this … is a pandemic. I’ve felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic.”

On having ‘control’ over it


Jan. 22: “We have it totally under control.”

Jan. 30: “We think we have it very well under control.”

Feb. 24: “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA.”

Feb. 25: “You may ask about the coronavirus, which is very well under control in our country.”

March 15: “It’s something that we have tremendous control over.”


March 16: “If you’re talking about the virus, no, that’s not under control for any place in the world. … I was talking about what we’re doing is under control, but I’m not talking about the virus.”

China’s handling of the virus


Jan. 24: “The United States greatly appreciates their efforts and transparency.”

Feb. 7: Chinese President Xi Jinping is “strong, sharp and powerfully focused on leading the counterattack on the Coronavirus.”

Feb. 7: On whether he was concerned China was covering up the spread of the virus: “No. China is working very hard.”


April 15: “Do you really believe those numbers in this vast country called China. … Does anybody really believe that?”

April 17: “We don’t have the-most-in-the-world deaths. The most in the world has to be China.” (China’s official numbers are lower than the United States’s, though there are very valid questions about their accuracy.)

The success of testing


March 6: “Anybody that needs a test, gets a test. They’re there. They have the tests. And the tests are beautiful.” “The tests are all perfect, like the [Ukraine] letter was perfect — the transcription was perfect, right? This was not as perfect as that, but pretty good.”

March 12: “Frankly, the testing has been going very smooth.”


April 21: “Testing is good in some cases, and in some cases it’s not.”

The media’s coverage of the virus


Feb. 28: “You wonder if the press is in hysteria mode.”


April 13: Trump plays a bunch of video clips of media members downplaying the coronavirus, with the headline, “The media minimized the risk from the start.”

On calling it the ‘Chinese virus’


March 18: “It’s not racist at all. No, not at all. It comes from China. That’s why. It comes from China. I want to be accurate.”


March 24: “Look, everyone knows it came out of China, but I decided we shouldn’t make any more of a big deal out of it. I think I’ve made a big deal. I think people understand it.”

March 26: “It got out there and I started calling it the Chinese virus, and everybody picked it up. And, you know, I’m not looking to do that. Look, it’s better to have a good relationship.”

March 26: “This was a Chinese virus. But I don’t have to say it, if they feel so strongly about it.”

On New York’s need for ventilators


March 26: “I don’t believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators.”


March 29: After it was noted that he’s said that governors don’t actually need the equipment they ask for, “I didn’t say that. Come on.”


April 17: “[New York Gov. Andrew] Cuomo ridiculously wanted ‘40 thousand Ventilators.’ We gave him a small fraction of that number, and it was plenty.”

Pulling back on WHO funding


April 7: “We’re going to put a hold on money spent to the [World Health Organization]. We’re going to put a very powerful hold on it.”


April 7, 17 minutes later: “I mean, I’m not saying I’m going to do it, but we’re going to look at it.”

On chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine being a ‘game changer’


March 19: “We think it has a very serious — a very good impact on what we’re talking about with respect to the virus. So you’ll take a look at that. Then you can coordinate with us. But I think, to me, that’s a game changer.”


April 21: After a Veterans Affairs study indicated the treatment could be counterproductive, “I don’t know of the report. Obviously, there have been some very good reports, and perhaps this one is not a good report. But we’ll be looking at it.”