Speed Reads

fact check

Trump says he knew coronavirus was a 'pandemic long before it was called' one. Two weeks ago he called it a 'hoax.'

Speaking to reporters at the White House on Tuesday, Trump denied he's changed his tune in recent days about the coronavirus.

The president is even claiming he was ahead of the curve and knew the outbreak amounted to a pandemic even before the World Health Organization declared it one. "I've always viewed it as very serious," he said. "There was no difference yesterday from days before. I feel the tone is similar."

Unsurprisingly, people were quick to point out that Trump's previous rhetoric doesn't line up with that — at one point, during a rally in South Carolina, he described the Democrats' criticism of his administration's response to the outbreak as "their new hoax" and more recently said that the U.S.'s once-limited number of cases would soon be gone. In short, Trump was mainly focused on downplaying the threats of the virus and calling his opponents out for fearmongering. Based on that, it's fair to say Trump wasn't quite the seer he now proclaims to be. Tim O'Donnell