President Donald Trump this week delivered a remote address to the United Nations General Assembly.
As with many of his speeches over the past four years, the remarks were widely praised among his conservative base and denounced or derided by critics on the left.
“We pioneered life-saving treatments”
With little regard for political correctness, the president made a reference to the “China virus” within the first minute of his roughly seven-minute address. Of course, the remark came in the context of America’s ongoing response to the global pandemic.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 23, 2020
“In the United States, we launched the most aggressive mobilization since the Second World War,” Trump said. “We rapidly produced a record supply of ventilators, creating a surplus that allowed us to share them with friends and partners all around the globe. We pioneered life-saving treatments, reducing our fatality rate 85% since April.”
He went on to discuss the massive push to develop and distribute a COVID-19 vaccine in record time.
“As we pursue this bright future, we must hold accountable the nation which unleashed this plague onto the world: China,” Trump said.
“Seven minutes of nonsense”
Touting his administration’s early travel restrictions, the president said that China “condemned” such measures “even as they canceled domestic flights and locked citizens in their homes.”
He further chastised China for its record of pollution, asserting that America “reduced its carbon emissions by more than any country” in the Paris Climate Accord from which he withdrew the U.S.
It was clear from his latest remarks that Trump remains the straight shooter his supporters voted for in 2016, but several mainstream media outlets slammed his speech.
Slate, for example, recapped the address with a headline dismissing it as “seven minutes of nonsense.” The Guardian was similarly critical, calling Trump’s speech “a bizarre feat of gaslighting and fantasy.”
Those anti-Trump voices who believe Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden would somehow increase America’s standing on the world stage, however, might be disappointed. His apparent difficulty in determining whether China qualifies as competition to the U.S. should, in itself, be enough to cause many voters to think twice before voting for him in November.