Trump has been saying the pandemic has been totally under control since January, and said it would just “go away” in February.
He reiterated this in March as the virus surged, and insisted we had “perfect” tests that anyone could get after reports of faulty tests. He said he wanted pandemic-related shutdowns to end by Easter so churches could be “packed” while claiming Hydroxychloroquine would be a miracle cure for COVID-19.
In April he continued to promote Hydroxychloroquine without evidence and suggested we could inject disinfectants or use UVC light inside the body to kill the virus, and right up through May Trump was discouraging the use of masks and refused to require them anywhere, with him and Pence famously flouting requirements at hospitals and factories. Trump also claimed he was taking Hydroxychloroquine as a prophylactic against the disease. At this point they were even planning to dismantle their own COVID-19 task force.
In June they were still insisting it was under control while fighting the FDA’s revocation of authorizations for Hydroxychloroquine, and denying that there was a second surge happening. They instead blamed the high infection statistics on there being more testing, and Trump suggested slowing down testing to improve the stats, noting he does not joke.
Rolling into July he still insisted he had things under control, claiming they had done an incredible job, as the White House nuked a trove of data previously available through the CDC while Trump was still hyping Hydroxychloroquine and his son was temporarily suspended from Twitter for continuing to spread disinformation about it.
Even in August, Trump claimed COVID-19 was totally under control, and the ~150k dead with a simple “it is what it is,”, and reiterated that the virus would go away all on its own. He finally encouraged the wearing of masks, but ignored all guidelines during his nomination acceptance speech at the Republican Convention.
In September Trump was saying that COVID-19 hurt “virtually nobody”, and openly disputed the CDC’s own claims about the effectiveness of masks.
In October Trump got COVID-19, and while still undergoing treatment, went on a quick spin around the hospital to wave to his supporters outside. He was discharged to the White House after only three days, posing for photo-ops without a mask. At this point White House officials finally concede that “we’re not going to control the pandemic.”. This would be the last time the COVID-19 task force would formally meet.
Since then Trump has pretty much avoided any and all public appearances except to complain about the election. November marked the point where a quarter of a million Americans had died of COVID-19. There are now more people dying each day of COVID-19 than died in the terrorist attacks on 9/11/2001 or in the Invasion of Normandy.
That’s the joke.