“I guess I’m a politician”

Things my ancestors could never comprehend: They’d understand the Corona virus, the worldwide epidemic, pandemic, plague, not a new thing, highly contagious diseases have been around for centuries. My ancestors would be in awe of modern scientific knowledge and modern medicine.

My ancestors could not understand how casually, recklessly? this President treats his responsibility, his job, his country’s well-being.

This interview is from March 7th, 4 months after the Coronavirus appeared, 2 days before Italy was shut down, 4 days before the World Health Organization calls the virus a pandemic, USA death toll was at 17, unknown number of total cases, no nationwide testing was/is happening.

Q    Mr. President, you were shaking a lot of hands today, taking a lot of posed pictures.  Are you protecting yourself at all?  How are you – how are you staying away from germs?

THE PRESIDENT:  Not at all.  No, not at all.  You know, I’m a person that was never big on the hand-shaking deal throughout my life.  They used to criticize me for it or laugh about it or have fun with it.  But if you’re a politician – like, I walk in, and the doctors have their hands out – “Hello, sir.  How are you?”  I – if you don’t shake hands, they’re not going to like you too much.  And I guess that’s my business; I never thought I’d be a politician.  I guess, I’m a politician.

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, we’re considering different things.  But we’re also considering the fact that last year we had approximately 36,000 deaths due to what’s called the flu … As of the time I left the plane with you, we had 240 cases.  That’s at least what was on a very fine network known as Fox News.  

And how was the show last night?  Did it get good ratings, by the way?

Q    I – I don’t, sir.

THE PRESIDENT:  Oh, really?  I heard it broke all ratings records, but maybe that’s wrong.  That’s what they told me.  I don’t know.  I can’t imagine that.

And you’re smiling when I say that.  Who are you from, by the way?

Q    I’m – I’m from CNN.

THE PRESIDENT:  You are?  I don’t watch CNN.  That’s why I don’t recognize you.

Q    Oh, okay.  Well, nice to meet you.

THE PRESIDENT:  I really don’t – I don’t watch it.  I don’t watch CNN because CNN is fake news.

From the President’s White House via https://www.whitehouse.gov/remarks/ . Link to this specific interview with reporter Peter (no last name given probably Beinart). Remarks by President Trump After Tour of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Atlanta, GA, Issued on: March 7, 2020