“The most horrifying thing about this convention,” observed Slate’s Will Saletan last night, “is that you can deduce when each of the speakers made their videos, or whether they’re speaking live, based on the number they quote as the coronavirus death count. I’ve heard 170,000, 160,000, and 150,000.” Oddly enough, President Trump decided that this fact somehow counts as a strong defense of his record.
In her Democratic National Convention speech Monday night, Michelle Obama asserted, “More than 150,000 people have died” of the novel coronavirus. Trump responded, correctly, that this revealed that Obama had pre-recorded the speech. It’s now over 170,000:
Obama’s figure wasn’t “wrong” — there have been over 150,000 deaths — but it did understate the total. Even as most industrialized countries have contained the virus, thousands of Americans continue to perish every week. Attempting to characterize the horrific consequences of Trump’s bungling requires constant updating. Take that, Michelle!