During a televised address to the nation about the COVID-19 pandemic, United States President Donald Trump was caught twice unaware that he was being recorded.
Before beginning the March 11 2020 address, Trump could be heard saying, “A what? Oh fuck. Oh fuck. Uh oh. I got a pen mark. Anybody have any wipe, any white stuff?” One Twitter user’s capture of the remark was shared more than 1,000 times:
“A what? Oh fuck… Uh oh” pic.twitter.com/QFt4IWvief
— Robbie Pitts (@pittst3r) March 12, 2020
After his address, Trump was also captured on C-SPAN video waiting for confirmation that the network feed of his remarks had stopped before unbuttoning his jacket and saying, “Okay.” The comedy news show The Daily Show posted a clip of Trump after he went off the air, calling it “humanity’s Moment of Zen.”
Now here it is, humanity’s Moment of Zen… pic.twitter.com/or8kLTI6eM
— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) March 12, 2020
Besides being spread online, the two clips were covered by online news organizations.
Trump’s address also drew criticism for being outright misleading and confusing. He initially announced that the United States “will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next thirty days,” only for the White House Twitter account to release a statement “clarifying” key details.
“The travel restriction applies to foreign nationals who have been in 26 European countries with open borders agreements, in the last 14 days,” the statement read. “Those exempt from these restrictions, such as U.S. citizens, will be directed to limited airports where screening can take place.”
Trump also said that health insurance companies “have agreed to waive all co-payments for coronavirus treatments, extend insurance coverage to these treatments.” CNN later reported, citing an anonymous official, that the coverage only extended to testing for the virus.
America’s Health Insurance Plans, a trade association representing the industry, published a statement listing various providers’ waivers for their respective customers.
The COVID-19 coronavirus strain has reportedly killed 4,630 people worldwide as of March 12 2020.