“There was some big, crazy Trump news today,” Trevor Noah said at the top of Wednesday night’s Daily Show. “And I know we say that every day, but this time it’s true.”
Looking back to the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the host reminded viewers that President Trump was confidently claiming that COVID-19 was “not a big deal” and “basically just like the flu.” Since then, “We’ve all learned that that was bullshit.” And now we know Trump knew it was “bullshit” too.
He was of course talking about the bombshell revelations from journalist Bob Woodward’s new book Rage, which include recordings of the president talking about how deadly the virus was back in February and confirming that he was actively downplaying its severity in March, supposedly because he didn’t want to “create a panic.”
“You didn’t want to create a panic?” Noah asked. “You didn’t want to create a panic? So what did you want, for people to be very calmly dying in the streets?!”
“Since when is Donald J. Trump concerned about creating a panic?” he continued. “That is literally his favorite thing. ‘Cities are burning! Suburbs are collapsing! Caravans of Antifa Mexicans are committing Muslim voter fraud!’ His campaign’s slogan is basically, ‘Look out behind you!’”
Noah granted that “as a leader, you don’t want people to panic,” but he added, “you also want to inform the people so they can be safe.” He compared it to a pilot telling a crashing plane full of passengers to “remain calm” but also to fasten their seatbelts and brace for impact. “If Trump were a pilot, he’d be like, ‘Attention all passengers, everything’s fine. Seatbelts are for snowflakes and if you want to stretch your legs, now’s the time. Bye-bye!’”
But mostly the host was confused. “Because at first, I thought Trump was too stupid to understand what was going on with the virus,” he said. “But it turns out he was actually smart about it in private. But he’s also stupid enough to tell Bob Woodward on tape.”
And before he moved on, Noah took a shot at Woodward and other authors like John Bolton and Mary Trump for waiting until they have a book to sell to share such damning information about the president. “Imagine if Paul Revere had this attitude,” he joked. “‘Are the British coming? Find out by pre-ordering my book on Amazon.’”
Ultimately, Noah said that while some may think it’s “good news” that Trump “isn’t as dumb as we thought,” the revelations in Woodward’s book are actually “terrible news,” because it proves that Trump is “willfully misleading the public.”
“So once again, we’re reminded today that Donald Trump doesn’t care about America,” he concluded. “He cares about himself.”
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