Donald Trump Began a Press Conference by Talking About the Coronavirus. He Ended it by Sending an Accused Sex-Trafficker his Best Wishes.

The president had nice things to say about Jeffrey Epstein co-conspirator Ghislaine Maxwell.

Sarah Silbiger/CNP/Zuma

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In a reversal of his previous dismissive attitude toward the coronavirus pandemic, President Trump on Tuesday encouraged the widespread use of masks (despite his refusal to wear them in the past) and condemned large gatherings (despite having held a rally on June 20).

“Some areas of our country are doing very well. Others are doing less well,” he said, in his first coronavirus briefing since April. “It will probably, unfortunately, get worse before it gets better—something I don’t like saying about things, but that’s the way it is.”

Dr. Deborah Birx was present at the briefing, but Dr. Anthony Fauci was not. Fauci has said that he was not invited. Trump declined to comment on Fauci’s absence.

Despite the president’s newfound appreciation for the seriousness of the virus, the speech was not without its Trumpisms. He repeatedly referred to the coronavirus as “the China virus,” and, when asked whether he thought Ghislaine Maxwell—Jeffrey Epstein’s associate currently incarcerated on child sex trafficking charges—would turn in powerful men, he responded, “I just wish her well, frankly.”

“I’ve met her numerous times over the years, especially since I lived in Palm Beach, and I guess they lived in Palm Beach,” he continued, “but I wish her well.”

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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