After continuously downplaying COVID-19 throughout the final year of his presidency, Donald Trump has seemingly had a change of heart regarding his "learn to live with it" approach.
Scroll on to hear what he had to say...
Now, we all know that Trump holds a disastrous track record with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic.
From the get-go, Trump profusely downplayed the severity of the Wuhan-born virus, which spread across the globe at an alarming pace.
"We have it totally under control. It's one person coming in from China, and we have it under control. It's — going to be just fine."
Trump made this now infamous remark to CNBC at a press conference in January 2020 when quizzed on his plan of action for the looming pandemic.
As the weeks ticked by and the death toll grew, Trump remained incredibly nonchalant...
TRUMP: "We're working very strongly w/ China on the coronavirus that's a new thing that a lot of people are talking about... we have very little problem in this country at this moment. 5, and those ppl are all recuperating... we think it's going to have a very good ending for us" pic.twitter.com/dEHD074042— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 30, 2020
And continued to downplay the severity of the virus sweeping the country, at one point even suggesting that COVID-19 will disappear "like a miracle."
In March, he was eventually forced to declare a national emergency...
But not before he compared the virus to the flu, tweeting:
"So last year 37,000 Americans died from the common Flu. It averages between 27,000 and 70,000 per year. Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on. At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus, with 22 deaths. Think about that!"
After freeing up millions of dollars in federal funding in his emergency declaration, Trump turned his focus on a cure...
But not a very legitimate one.
On March 19th, he incorrectly claimed that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine for treating COVID-19.
And then came the bleach incident.
Now there's a sentence nobody wants to read about their country's leader in a pandemic.
In April 2020, while discussing the potential cures at a press conference, he brought up the topic of disinfectants.
He then casually suggested that these disinfectants could, in some way, be "injected" into the body as a method of combatting the virus.
In what would become one of his most damning remarks in the entire pandemic, he pondered:
"The disinfectant, where it knocks it out in a minute, and is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside, or almost a cleaning. It gets in the lungs" -- Trump seems to suggests that injecting disinfectant inside people could be a treatment for the coronavirus pic.twitter.com/amis9Rphsm— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 23, 2020
"I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in a minute, one minute," he said. "Is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning? Because you see it gets in the lungs, and it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it'd be interesting to check that."
Of course, this was an incredibly reckless thing for a world leader to say...
Calls to poison control centers about bleach and lysol ingestion are way up. Here's the science of why ingesting them (or shining massive UV light on your body) is a bad idea. The short answer: these treatments kill all cells, not just the virus. https://t.co/xLN9Cjfn76— nxthompson (@nxthompson) April 28, 2020
And medical experts and chemical brands alike scrambled to issue warnings against injecting disinfectants and bleach in a bid to fight COVID-19.
But, when Trump himself fell ill with the virus months later in October, there wasn't a hint of disinfectant in sight.
His doctors confirmed that he was treated with a cocktail of dexamethasone, remdesivir, and Regeneron, as well as zinc, vitamin D, famotidine, melatonin, and aspirin, as per the BBC.
Trump went on to make a full recovery...
And, of course, he used his experience to further downplay the severity of the virus, as well as broadcast a theatrical, helicopter-driven return to the White House.
During his first morning back in the White House, a still-contagious Trump then reiterated his flu comparison.
"Flu season is coming up!" he wrote. "Are we going to close down our Country? No, we have learned to live with it, just like we are learning to live with Covid."
But now, fast-forwarding 5 months and one failed reelection campaign, Trump is evidently keen for people to get themselves vaccinated...
Instead of simply "learning to live with the virus."
Of course, opinions are mixed on what he's had to say.
He finally realized that if his voters die of COvId they can’t vote for him.— Cat yes just Cat. (@LemurCat40) March 17, 2021
It's still all about him...— Mimi (@MomMusic) March 17, 2021
Is this the "change in tone" so many in the press were waiting for so patiently???— joepolitics (@joepolitics4) March 17, 2021
He loves to undermine GOP talking points.— RR Seattle (@RRalstonAgile) March 17, 2021
The R’s go all in on avoiding masks, not getting vaccinated and opening up too soon and Trump throws them under the bus.
Wow. This is almost unbelievable.— Lolly 🇨🇦 Johnson (@cj971) March 17, 2021
Speaking to Fox News in a telephone interview, Trump revealed that he had received the vaccine himself in secret.
"It is a great vaccine. It is a safe vaccine, and it is something that works."
He then added:
"I would recommend it, and I would recommend it to a lot of people that don't want to get it, and a lot of those people voted for me, frankly."
So, there you have it. For more on politics, scroll on...