Republicans Use Trump's COVID Catchphrase To Attack Democrats
Credit: Screengrab Composite
February 3, 2022

I saw this on Twitter today:

And also this:

"Two weeks to slow the spread" and "fifteen days to slow the spread" are now right-wing shibboleths. For a while they've been used contemptuously in reference to the pandemic, the message being: Look at how Dr. Fauci and the liberal fascists lied to us. They said we'd shut down for two weeks and it's been two years.

Here's a right-wing comedian:

Here's Dr. Oz, in an interview with Sean Hannity:

Oz spoke about his medical expertise and how he recognized that the now long-surpassed "two weeks to stop the spread" socioeconomic restriction period placed on Pennsylvanians and many other Americans turned out to be much more complicated and worse for the people.

"I’ve spent a lot of time trying to understand what went wrong and it’s emblematic of other issues we are struggling with in our great country. Remember the phrase two weeks to flatten the curve? That metastasized into this terrible authoritarianism and overreaching that did not make us safer," he said.

And now we have Lauren Boebert and Don Jr. using it in reference to unrelated subjects.

But this wasn't our catchphrase. It wasn't Dr. Fauci's. It was Donald Trump's.

Here's the official White House announcement of "15 Days to Slow the Spread." Here's a Heritage Foundation editorial praising Trump for "15 Days," nine days later.

Of course, by that time Trump was already undermining his own initiative. On March 20, he tweeted, “WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF.” Two days later, he was undermining it again:

“Our people want to return to work,” Trump tweeted. “They will practice Social Distancing and all else, and Seniors will be watched over protectively & lovingly. We can do two things together. THE CURE CANNOT BE WORSE (by far) THAN THE PROBLEM! Congress MUST ACT NOW. We will come back strong!”

So "fifteen days" was Trump's idea, and then he was too impatient to wait out the fifteen days before he began demanding a return to normal. A responsible leader wouldn't have set a strict time limit and wouldn't have publicly undermined his own plan long before the time limit was up. Fifteen days wasn't enough to slow the spread of the virus. No responsible scientist ever claimed that it was. No Democrat ever did either, as far as I know.

But now the right tries to hang the phrase around our necks. Trump overpromised -- and somehow it's our fault that he couldn't deliver.

Posted with permission from No More Mr. Nice Blog

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