“I had no choice because I just didn’t want to stay in the White House. I was given that alternative. Stay in the White House. Lock yourself in. Don’t ever leave. Don’t even go to the Oval Office. Just stay upstairs and enjoy it. Don’t see people. Don’t talk to people, and just be done with it. And I can’t do that. I had to be out front.”

— President Trump in remarks from Walter Reed hospital in a video posted by the White House on Oct. 3

The president, now ill with covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, argued in a video message from his hospital suite that he had “no choice” but to actively campaign before large crowds and mingle with people (without social distancing or the use of masks).

He indicated he would not change his behavior going forward: “I look forward to finishing up the campaign the way it was started and the way we’ve been doing and the kind of numbers that we’ve been doing. We’ve been so proud of it.”

The president’s upbeat message in the face of stubborn facts is in keeping with the way he has discussed the pandemic since the first signs of the novel coronavirus emerged in January. Month after month, as the death toll climbed, the president has proclaimed that success was just around the corner and that his administration has done a terrific job in confronting the pandemic. Here’s a sampling.


“We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China. We have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.”


“A lot of people think that goes away in April with the heat — as the heat comes in. Typically, that will go away in April. We’re in great shape, though. We have 12 cases — 11 cases, and many of them are in good shape now.”

“It’s a little like the regular flu that we have flu shots for. And we’ll essentially have a flu shot for this in a fairly quick manner.”


“We had a great meeting today with a lot of the great companies, and they’re going to have vaccines. I think relatively soon, and they’re going to have something that makes you better, and that’s going to actually take place, we think, even sooner.”

“We’re doing a great job with it. And it will go away. Just stay calm. It will go away.”

“So I think Easter Sunday, and you’ll have packed churches all over our country. I think it would be a beautiful time. And it’s just about the timeline that I think is right.”

“We can expect that, by June 1, we will be well on our way to recovery. We think, by June 1, a lot of great things will be happening.”


“We’re starting to see light at the end of the tunnel. And hopefully, in the not-too-distant future, we’ll be very proud of the job we all did.”

“We continue to gain ground in the war against the unseen enemy, and I see light at the end of the tunnel. I actually see a lot of light at the end of the tunnel.”


“Coronavirus numbers are looking MUCH better, going down almost everywhere. Big progress being made!”

May 11


“I think, in the fall, you’re going to see the schools all open and in great shape.”

June 5


“I think we are going to be very good with the coronavirus. I think that, at some point, that’s going to sort of just disappear.”

July 1

“You will never hear this on the Fake News concerning the China Virus, but by comparison to most other countries, who are suffering greatly, we are doing very well - and we have done things that few other countries could have done!”


“America is winning the war against the virus.”

“Our numbers are excellent, really really good, and hopefully, we’re rounding the final turn on that disaster given to us by China.”


“We’ve done a fantastic job on this China virus, the invisible enemy. I get no credit for it.”

“I really do believe we’re rounding the corner. … We’re rounding the final turn.”

“The only thing we did badly on was public relations because we were working so hard. … We did a hell of a job.”


“The end of the pandemic is in sight.”

Oct. 1

Oct. 2: Trump announces he and first lady Melania Trump have tested positive for the coronavirus.

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