Just days after coronavirus deaths topped 200,000 in the US – the highest total anywhere in the world – Trump used his speech at Pittsburgh International Airport to crack a few jokes about the deadly virus that has taken 980,000 lives globally.
“It’s the China virus, not the coronavirus,” Trump told the mostly maskless crowd at a campaign rally in the key swing state of Pennsylvania. “It’s not the coronavirus.”
“Corona sounds like a place in Italy. A beautiful place. It’s Corona,” he said as some in the audience laughed.
“But, Coronavirus doesn’t it sound like Italy. A beautiful villa – you have beautiful – Corona,” Trump added.
Trump last night made clear he'd rather do schtick than control COVID: "The China virus, it's the China virus. It's not the coronavirus. Corona sounds like a place in Italy, a beautiful place. It's Corona. No, it's the China virus." pic.twitter.com/Spq4O0J7O9
— The Recount (@therecount) September 23, 2020
Trump also castigated Joe Biden over his decision to protect himself and others from the disease.
“He feels good about the mask, and that’s OK,” said the president to raucous applause. “Whatever makes you feel good. Honestly, why the hell did he spend all that money on the plastic surgery if he’s going to cover it up with a mask?”
Trump also took a swipe at journalists who got injured during Black Lives Matter demonstrations in recent months. “Remember that beautiful sight? The street was a mess,” said Mr Trump, referencing an incident when the journalist Ali Velshi got wounded.