A Quote and a 2,000 Word Rebuttal

A stark contrast.

Transcript: Donald Trump's RNC speech - CNNPolitics

The quote, from Donald Trump’s RNC acceptance speech last night: “My administration has a very different approach [to the pandemic]. To save as many lives as possible we are focusing on the science, the facts and the data.”

The rebuttal:

PHOTO: President Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive for his acceptance speech for the Republican National Convention from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Aug. 27, 2020.
Source: Doug Mills/Pool via Reuters via ABC

And:

2020 republican convention crowd white house coronavirus
Source: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images via the Business Insider

The claims by Trump, in front of roughly 1,500 unmasked and decidedly not socially distanced crowd, all in defiance of CDC guidelines (you know, the science) brings to mind the phrase: who are you going to believe, Trump or your lyin’ eyes?

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2020, COVID-19, Donald Trump, US Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. CSK says:

    I can’t help wondering if this wasn’t some sort of in-your-face gesture to all those weenies who are still masking and social distancing.

    2
  2. Mikey says:

    Take a look at the assembled crowd and then understand we are losing that many Americans to COVID-19 every day and it’s entirely Trump’s fault.

    15
  3. @Mikey: An excellent, and depressing, point.

    7
  4. Kylopod says:

    I am morbidly curious to hear about any Covid-19 cases that arise from this Nuremberg rally convention.

    5
  5. Not the IT Dept. says:

    Off-topic but I’m really starting to wonder: with all the COVID cases that pop up after his many events – why hasn’t Trump caught it yet?

    Yeah, yeah, he’s up on the stage socially distanced and all that but he walks through crowds to get there, he interacts with people at events and photo ops, there are chances for infection. So what’s up?

    1
  6. Jen says:

    @Not the IT Dept.: Combination of sheer luck, extensive testing (which he happily denies to others), and timing.

    This event was outside, and those have shown to be much lower risk. This is why despite thousands gathering, the George Floyd protests were not significant vectors.

    1
  7. Kingdaddy says:

    @Not the IT Dept.:

    Off-topic but I’m really starting to wonder: with all the COVID cases that pop up after his many events – why hasn’t Trump caught it yet?

    Yeah, yeah, he’s up on the stage socially distanced and all that but he walks through crowds to get there, he interacts with people at events and photo ops, there are chances for infection. So what’s up?

    Because he’s rolling as a high hit die monster on the saving throw table?

    (Forgive the obscure humor, for people who didn’t grow up playing Dungeons & Dragons.)

    17
  8. CSK says:

    @Not the IT Dept.:
    That half-inch of bronzer he slaps on his face provides an impenetrable shield.

    10
  9. Kathy says:

    @Not the IT Dept.:

    Why would the virus find him any less repugnant than the rest of us?

    9
  10. Jon says:

    @Kingdaddy: If memory serves, demons and devils all have immunity to poison.

    6
  11. @CSK:

    That half-inch of bronzer he slaps on his face provides an impenetrable shield.

    Careful, or bronzer will be the next “powerful light” and/or oleander extract.

    2
  12. CSK says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:
    Don’t forget the Lysol injections.

    3
  13. Jon says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: It bronzes while it cleans! It’s the bronze-o-matic, available in stores now!

    4
  14. @Jon: But can it scramble an egg while it is still inside its shell?

    4
  15. Kingdaddy says:

    @Jon: Classifying him as a devil or demon makes more sense than undead, which is probably the monster category where Jared and Rudy fit.

    4
  16. reid says:

    @Kingdaddy: Ghast and ghoul?

    2
  17. Kathy says:

    If Trump gets COVID-19, he should have the decency to do so after the election.

  18. Kingdaddy says:

    @reid: I can definitely see Rudy as a ghoul. Jared seems more like one of the life-draining undead.

    2
  19. Bob@Youngstown says:

    Was this an example of the “law and order crowd”?
    How many attendees arrived in DC within the past two weeks ? – at least some ?
    Were they in violation of DC ordinance requiring ANYONE arriving from ~26 states to quarantine for two weeks?

    Beginning Monday, July 27, anyone coming into Washington, DC from a high-risk state (within the prior 14 days) who was traveling for non-essential activities will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days from their arrival in the District. {in effect until Sept 8 2020)

    I guess “law and order” only applies to ‘others’?

    7
  20. Bill says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    But can it scramble an egg while it is still inside its shell?

    I’m not entirely sure but Lisa Douglas (Eva Gabor) on Green Acres may have tried to cook eggs that way.

  21. Kathy says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    No, but it scrambles brains, if any, even at a distance, and even through TV.

    2
  22. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @SLT
    Here is a photo the encapsulates all that was wrong with the RNC, held this week.
    https://twitter.com/mrbrownsir/status/1299189751036215297/photo/1
    Why are they celebrating 180,000 dead? What is the message? Only Trump can fix what Trump has wrought?

    2
  23. Scott F. says:

    Between this and all the speeches this week implying COVID was behind us, I find I am beside myself with rage.

    > 40% of the electorate is signed up for this alternate universe view of the situation and this selfish behavior. It would be one thing if this cavalier disregard of death and suffering only effected them. If they want to kill themselves for Dear Leader, let them. But, their choices impact the other 60% – passing the virus to people who are trying their best to follow the practices determined by the science and delaying the sustainable re-opening of the country.

    3
  24. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: If he’d had any decency he would have gotten it immediately after the last election.

  25. Gustopher says:

    It’s hard to get a transcript for Trump because of his manner of speech, and then editors add things to straighten it out and change the meaning.

    “My administration has a very different approach [to the pandemic]. To save as many lives as possible we are focusing on the science, the facts and the data.”

    Ok, now let’s remove the clarifying stuff added in brackets.

    “My administration has a very different approach. To save as many lives as possible we are focusing on the science, the facts and the data.”

    Was that period really there?

    “My administration has a very different approach to save as many lives as possible we are focusing on the science, the facts and the data.”

    The verb tenses are wrong. Let’s fix that instead.

    “My administration has a very different approach to saving as many lives as possible we are focusing on the science, the facts and the data.”

    Now we’re getting somewhere. Let’s just tighten it up.

    “My administration has a very different approach to saving as many lives as possible.”

    3
  26. DrDaveT says:

    @Gustopher:

    It’s hard to get a transcript for Trump because of his manner of speech, and then editors add things to straighten it out and change the meaning.

    This is actually an important point. A raw transcript of unscripted Trump is almost incomprehensible. The listener must fill in a lot of gaps and rearrange material in order to get something comprehensible out of it. That process is necessarily subjective, colored by the listener’s expectations, experiences, fluency, prior opinions, etc.

    I take it as significant that Trump’s clearest, least ambiguous statements are typically his most objectionable — either because they express deplorable sentiments, or because they are bald-faced lies.

    4
  27. flat earth luddite says:

    @Jon:
    Frankly, classifying him as a devil or demon may be an insult to those entities. You’re giving him too much credit, IMHO.

  28. Joe says:

    Wondering how many secret Trump fans were quietly taking hydroxychloroquine to show their support, your comments, CSK and Steven L. Taylor, made me laugh to think what would happen if Trump touted his face paint as a preventative or a cure for COVID19. I wouldn’t even care if he owned the exclusive right to sell the paint.

  29. Kathy says:

    @flat earth luddite:

    Partly. I mean, Lucifer at one time was an angel.

    About COVID-19 contagion and Trump remember it’s a matter of odds. If you’re in a crowded room with dozens of people, none wearing masks and none keeping their distance, but also none are infected with SARS-CoV-2, then your odds of catching it are close to zero.

    I’ve read no one gets close to His Orangeness without being tested. If so, and if the people helping him shatter the Hatch Act yesterday were also tested, then the risk is very low if the tests used are anywhere close to accurate.

  30. gVOR08 says:

    @DrDaveT:

    This is actually an important point. A raw transcript of unscripted Trump is almost incomprehensible. The listener must fill in a lot of gaps and rearrange material in order to get something comprehensible out of it. That process is necessarily subjective, colored by the listener’s expectations, experiences, fluency, prior opinions, etc.

    This is part of the epistemic closure mechanism. Yesterday I saw the guy who came up with “epistemic closure” pointing out that it’s not just having a closed mind, it’s having mechanisms in the bubble for rejecting anything outside the bubble, like “fake news” and “the deep state”. His believers can find what they want to find and it’s difficult to argue with them because you can’t even agree on what it is he said that so you can disagree with it. Which I understand is classic Russian disinformation. Don’t persuade, confuse, make truth seem confused and subjective.

    I swear there are days I can’t decide if the very confused man and the moment are accidentally met or if it’s a studied tactic.

    1
  31. Monala says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: it’s funny that Trump hasn’t mentioned oleander again. I assume someone convinced him that it’s poisonous . At least with the other things he’s promoted, there are some legitimate uses (HCQ for malaria and lupus, bleach/UV lights for surface disinfection).

    1
  32. Kathy says:

    CNN reports the following numbers for the acceptance speeches in the DNC and RNC:

    Trump: 21.6 million viewers
    Biden: 23.6 million viewers

    Of course, we know those extra 2 million were illegal viewers.

    Oh, so much winning!

    3
  33. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Kathy:

    Both the President and the Vice President are exempt from the provisions of the Hatch Act, with the notable exception of instances involving direct threats, coercion, etc.

    You could maybe make an argument that these activities put others into the position of violating the act, but you also need to take into account that violations of the act are with rare exception not criminal. They’re civil, with the penalties being of the HR variety. It’s a losing argument when the ultimate head of that HR department is the same person ordering them to perform the activities in the first place.

  34. @HarvardLaw92: I agree: the Hatch Act is a dead end.