Amid horrible nationwide polls leading into the election, Trump clearly wants to appear healthy and largely recovered from COVID-19, despite being sent to the hospital over the weekend for the illness, which apparently required he receive supplemental oxygen.
And as part of that push he called into Sean Hannity’s Fox News show on Thursday night for a wild conversation, where he refused to say whether or not he’s tested negative for COVID-19, made a bunch of very odd sounding statements, and also seemed to either clear his throat or cough several times.
On Thursday, White House physician Sean Conley claimed that Trump will be able to resume public engagements by Saturday. Of course, it’s widely known that people can still be contagious up to ten days after COVID-19 symptoms go away, and Hannity brought up the matter during the phone conversation. But when asked if he’s been tested “recently” or tested negative, Trump refused to give a straight answer and instead stuck to his obvious attempt to win over older voters by promising them free coronavirus medication.
Trump won't tell Hannity if he's had a negative coronavirus test. He just ignores the question and starts ranting. pic.twitter.com/GOtYbRCDqv
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 9, 2020
“Have you been tested recently,” Hannity asked.
“Uh, yeah, I just saw the doctors today they think I’m in great shape. I’m in great shape.”
“Did you test negative?” Hannity asked.
“And I’ll tell you, I took this ‘Regeneron,’ it’s phenomenal and um, Eli Lilly has something very comparable, it’s phenomenal. And it’s uh, it’s a whole new day,” Trump replied, not answering the question. “Oh, and if you go back a few months, nobody even thought about this stuff, we came up with it, and I’m gonna have it delivered to every hospital we have sick people with the COVID, or the ‘China virus’ as we call it, and we’re gonna make people better. It actually made me better. I went in, I could have left a day later, I’m telling you Sean, it was incredible. So, that’s Regeneron.”
As for his voice, Trump either coughed or cleared his throat at least three different times. For instance in the clip below where he once again falsely claims that there is any functional or legal difference between absentee ballots and mail-in ballots:
Trump is coughing through this Hannity interview. pic.twitter.com/YuBHzZlSCu
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) October 9, 2020
Trump does it again at another point in the show, and appears to even mute his audio for a second, while once again telling his repeatedly debunked lie that in 2016, the Presidential Debate Commission apologized to him for interfering with his mic:
JUST NOW: Trump coughs, mutes mic, as he’s interviewed by Sean Hannity. pic.twitter.com/VAkHqDvbQr
— Anoncat ☭☂️🏴 ➐ (@anoncatanoncat) October 9, 2020
Trump says in the clip above that in 2016, at one of the debates, “they oscillated it very very seriously, and they actually apologized.” This is, as we said above, a lie that has been repeatedly debunked. What actually happened is that a technical glitch affected the volume of Trump’s mic at the first presidential debate in 2016, but only inside the room where it was being broadcast. It didn’t affect volume for the 84 million people who watched the debate. The commission acknowledged this glitch, but they did not apologize and have never done so.
Of course, the conversation also touched on a range of other issues, for instance the rant about California you can watch below:
"California is gonna have to ration water. You wanna know why? Because they send millions of gallons of water out to sea, out to the Pacific. Because they want to take care of certain little tiny fish, that aren't doing very well without water." — Trump pic.twitter.com/g0PrXZRgOq
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 9, 2020
If you don’t want to listen, what happened is that Trump, when asked about the Green New Deal, said in part:
“Look at what’s happening with the rolling blackouts in California. Look at where California’s gonna have to ration water. You know why? Because they send millions of gallons of water out to sea, out to the Pacific. Because they want to take care of certain little tiny fish, that aren’t doing very well without water.”
Obviously none of that is actually true, but we want to specifically debunk his claim about rolling blackouts. In fact, they occur because the power grid was deregulated by Republican Governor Pete Wilson in 1996, most cities chose to privatize their grid. Only cities that privatized their grids have experienced rolling blackouts. But notably, the only major city in California that didn’t privatize its power grid, Los Angeles, has never experienced rolling blackouts at all. Read more about that here.