Aug 10, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump claims he would have not called for Obama to resign over 160,000 virus deaths

President Trump claimed at a press briefing Monday that he would not have called for President Obama to resign if 160,000 Americans had died on his watch, despite tweeting in 2014 that Obama should resign for allowing a doctor who tested positive for Ebola to enter the U.S.

The big picture: Only one person — who contracted the disease in Libera before traveling to the U.S. — died from Ebola in 2014. The U.S. currently leads the world in total confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths.

The exchange:

REPORTER: "If 160,000 people had died on President Obama's watch, do you think you would have called for his resignation?
TRUMP: "No, I wouldn't have done that. I think it's been amazing what we've been able to do. If we didn't close up our country, we would have had 1.5 or 2 million people already dead. We've called it right, now we don't have to close it. We understand the disease. Nobody understood it because nobody's ever seen anything like this. The closest thing is in 1917, they say, right? The great pandemic. Certainly was a terrible thing where they lost anywhere from 50 to 100 million people. Probably ended the Second World War, all the soldiers were sick."

Reality check: The pandemic Trump is referencing, known as the Spanish flu, began in 1918 and spread until 1919, according to the CDC. World War II ended in 1945.

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