COVID-19 was just a blip in President Trump's time in office — if you take his farewell address at its word.
Trump released a 20-minute prerecorded farewell address on Tuesday, the day before President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration. In it, he painted an overwhelmingly positive picture of prosperity and unity, even as he leaves office amid one of the worst economic crises in U.S. history.
After thanking his family and Vice President Mike Pence, Trump went out of his way to deem Americans an overwhelmingly "peace loving" people, despite any "disagreements." "All Americans were horrified by the assault on our Capitol," Trump added as he approaches a Senate impeachment trial over his role in inciting this month's riot. "Now more than ever we must unify around our shared values," he continued.
Trump then went on to credit his supporters for "building the greatest political movement in our nation's history," as well as his team for creating "the greatest economy in the history of the world." The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act passed back in 2017, his withdrawal from the Paris Climate agreement, and a new trade deal with China were among Trump's noted economic achievements — that is, until America was "hit with the China virus," Trump said, using his racist preferred name for COVID-19.
But from there, coronavirus faded from Trump's speech. He again pivoted to a rose-tinted list of accomplishments that allegedly ensured every American was "entitled to equal treatment, equal dignity, and equal rights" — including some that didn't even happen. And in the end, Trump never said the name of the people who'd replace him Wednesday, instead saying he would "pray for the success" of the "new administration" and wish it "luck." Kathryn Krawczyk