Timeline of the 2020 Presidential Candidates' Statements on Coronavirus



As of Apr. 2, 2020, three candidates remain in the race for President of the United States: Donald Trump, Joe Biden, and Bernie Sanders.

The chart below offers a timeline of major statements about COVID-19 (coronavirus) made by each candidate. The purpose of the chart is to make the information easily available to voters as one of many resources on our 2020 Election ProCon.org website. Click the footnote after each quote to see the source.

Please send us a link to any relevant coronavirus comments made by these candidates that you think should be included on this chart. We intend to update this page every Thursday for the duration of the stay-at-home measures throughout the United States.

2020 Presidential Candidates on Coronavirus
Date A. Donald Trump B. Joe Biden C. Bernie Sanders
Jan. 22
First identified comment on coronavirus by Donald Trump:

"We have it totally under control. It's one person coming in from China. We have it under control. It's going to be just fine." [1]



Jan. 24
First identified tweet about coronavirus by Donald Trump:

"China has been working very hard to contain the Coronavirus. The United States greatly appreciates their efforts and transparency. It will all work out well. In particular, on behalf of the American People, I want to thank President Xi!" [2]


Jan. 27
Twitter:

"We are in very close communication with China concerning the virus. Very few cases reported in USA, but strongly on watch. We have offered China and President Xi any help that is necessary. Our experts are extraordinary!" [3]
First identified comment about coronavirus by Joe Biden (Op/Ed in USA Today):

[President Trump is] "the worst possible person to lead our country through a global health challenge... The outbreak of a new coronavirus, which has already infected more than 2,700 people and killed over 80 in China, will get worse before it gets better. Cases have been confirmed in a dozen countries, with at least five in the United States. There will likely be more." [4]

Jan. 29
Twitter:

"Just received a briefing on the Coronavirus in China from all of our GREAT agencies, who are also working closely with China. We will continue to monitor the ongoing developments. We have the best experts anywhere in the world, and they are on top of it 24/7!" [5]

President Trump formed a Coronavirus Task Force.[6]


Jan. 30
Speech in Warren, Michigan:

"We think we have it very well under control. We have very little problem in this country at this moment. We think it's going to have a very good ending for us. That I can assure you." [7]


Date A. Donald Trump B. Joe Biden C. Bernie Sanders
Jan. 31
Proclamation of travel ban on China effective Feb. 2:

"The entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of all aliens who were physically present within the People's Republic of China, excluding the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau, during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States is hereby suspended." [8]
Campaign event in Iowa:

"We have, right now, a crisis with the coronavirus. This is no time for Donald Trump's record of hysteria and xenophobia - hysterical xenophobia - and fearmongering to lead the way instead of science." [9]

Feb. 1
First identified tweet about coronavirus by Joe Biden:

"We are in the midst of a crisis with the coronavirus. We need to lead the way with science — not Donald Trump's record of hysteria, xenophobia, and fear-mongering. He is the worst possible person to lead our country through a global health emergency." [10]

Feb. 7
Twitter:

"Just had a long and very good conversation by phone with President Xi of China. He is strong, sharp and powerfully focused on leading the counterattack on the Coronavirus. He feels they are doing very well, even building hospitals in a matter of only days. Nothing is easy, but...

....he will be successful, especially as the weather starts to warm & the virus hopefully becomes weaker, and then gone. Great discipline is taking place in China, as President Xi strongly leads what will be a very successful operation. We are working closely with China to help!" [11]


Feb. 10
Speech at White House Business Session with the nation's governors:

"Now, the virus that we're talking about having to do — you know, a lot of people think that goes away in April with the heat — as the heat comes in. Typically, that will go away in April. We're in great shape though. We have 12 cases — 11 cases, and many of them are in good shape now." [12]


Feb. 24
Twitter:

"The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. We are in contact with everyone and all relevant countries. CDC & World Health have been working hard and very smart. Stock Market starting to look very good to me!" [13]


Date A. Donald Trump B. Joe Biden C. Bernie Sanders
Feb. 25
Twitter:

"CDC and my Administration are doing a GREAT job of handling Coronavirus, including the very early closing of our borders to certain areas of the world... So far, by the way, we have not had one death. Let's keep it that way!" [14]

First identified comment about coronavirus made by Bernie Sanders (Democratic debate in South Carolina):

"In the White House today, we have a self-described 'great genius.' Self-described. And this great genius has told us that this coronavirus is going to end in two months...

Obviously we have to make sure the CDC, the NIH, our infectious departments are fully funded. This is a global problem." [15]

Feb. 26
Press conference:

Asked about previously proposed budget cuts to CDC, NIH, and WHO:

"Some of the people we cut, they haven't been used for many, many years. And if — if we have a need, we can get them very quickly."

On whether Americans can make summer travel plans:

"[W]hen you have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, that's a pretty good job we've done."

On the nature of coronavirus:

"It’s a little like the regular flu that we have flu shots for. And we’ll essentially have a flu shot for this in a fairly quick manner… This is a flu. This is like a flu."

On whether there is enough testing:

"[W]e're testing everybody that we need to test. And we're finding very little problem." [16]

First identified tweet about coronavirus by Bernie Sanders:

"I am deeply concerned not just by the rise of cases of coronavirus worldwide, but by the inadequate and incompetent response we have seen from Donald Trump and his administration." [17]
Feb. 27
Meeting with African American Leaders:

"It's going to disappear. One day — it's like a miracle — it will disappear." [18]

Statement:

"By picking Vice President Mike Pence to lead the administration's response to the pandemic, Trump has not only chosen someone completely unqualified, but the president has made clear that he's more concerned about his own politics than the health and safety of the country." [19]
Feb. 28
Rally in South Carolina:

"The Democrats are politicizing the coronavirus. You know that, right?...

They tried the impeachment hoax. That was on a perfect conversation and this is their new hoax." [20]
CNN Interview:

"No one takes the president's word for these things. He, at a minimum, exaggerates everything. And the idea that he's going to stand there and say, ‘everything is fine, don't worry,' who's going to believe that? Let the experts speak like we did in our administration." [21]

Mar. 1

Interview with Jake Tapper on CNN's State of the Union:

"We knew that this was coming. Back as far as January. They didn't even begin to prepare the testing kits...

Donald Trump said just several days ago this was a Democratic hoax. What in God's name is he talking about? Has he no shame?" [22]

Interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC's This Week:

"They have eliminated the office we set up -- we set up in the president's office to deal with pandemic diseases." [23]

Date A. Donald Trump B. Joe Biden C. Bernie Sanders
Mar. 2
Meeting with pharmaceutical companies:

"[W]e're working very hard to expedite the longer process of developing a vaccine." [24]

Rally in North Carolina:

"We had a great meeting today with a lot of the great [pharmaceutical] companies and they're going to have vaccines. I think relatively soon and they're going to have something that makes you better and that's going to actually take place, we think, even sooner." [67]


Mar. 4
Interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News:

"I think the 3.4 percent [global death rate] is really a false number... So, if we have thousands or hundreds of thousands of people that get better just by, you know, sitting around and even going to work -- some of them go to work, but they get better...But again, they don't know about the easy cases, because the easy cases don't go to the hospital...It's not that severe." [25]


Mar. 5
Twitter:

"I NEVER said people that are feeling sick should go to work. This is just more Fake News and disinformation put out by the Democrats, in particular MSDNC. Comcast covers the CoronaVirus situation horribly, only looking to do harm to the incredible & successful effort being made!" [26]


Mar. 7
Comments after a tour of CDC facilities:

"They have the tests. And the tests are beautiful. Anybody that needs a test gets a test...

I like the numbers [of reported US coronavirus cases] being where they are. I don't need to have the numbers double because of one ship [the Grand Princess cruise ship docked in San Francisco with 21 confirmed coronavirus cases on board at the time]." [27]


Mar. 9
Twitter:

"So last year 37,000 Americans died from the common Flu. It averages between 27,000 and 70,000 per year. Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on. At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus, with 22 deaths. Think about that!" [28]

Campaign rally in St. Louis:

"Think about the insanity of a system where today somebody wakes up and maybe they think they have the symptoms of a Coronavirus, yet they cannot afford to go to a doctor." [29]
Date A. Donald Trump B. Joe Biden C. Bernie Sanders
Mar. 10
Meeting with Republican senators:

"And we're prepared, and we're doing a great job with it. And it will go away. Just stay calm. It will go away...

The consumer has never been in a better position than they are right now." [30]
First major event canceled by the Biden campaign because of coronavirus concerns.

The Biden campaign replaced a large rally in Cleveland with a 200-person gathering in Philadelphia on Super Tuesday II. [31]
First major event canceled by the Sanders campaign because of coronavirus concerns.[32]
Mar. 11
National address:

"My fellow Americans: Tonight, I want to speak with you about our nation's unprecedented response to the coronavirus outbreak that started in China and is now spreading throughout the world.

Today, the World Health Organization officially announced that this is a global pandemic...

To keep new cases from entering our shores, we will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days... These restrictions will also not apply to the United Kingdom...

Additionally, last week, I signed into law an $8.3 billion funding bill to help CDC and other government agencies fight the virus and support vaccines, treatments, and distribution of medical supplies." [33]


Mar. 12

Joe Biden released his COVID-19 response plan on his website, covering (in part):

-Public health and economic response;
-Calls for free testing, treatment, and eventual vaccine for all regardless of insurance;
-Increased hospital capacity. [34]

Speech live-streamed from Wilmington, Delaware, to explain his response plan:

"I lay out the immediate steps we have to take to deliver one decisive public health response to curb the spread of the disease and to provide treatment to those who need it, and a decisive economic response that delivers real relief to American workers, families, and small businesses." [35]
Speech from Vermont:

"The crisis we face from the coronavirus is on a scale of a major war, and we must act accordingly. The number of casualties may actually be even higher than what the armed forces experienced in World War II.”

Called for paid leave and a moratorium on evictions, foreclosures, and utilities being shut off. [36]
Mar. 13
Declaration of National Emergency:

"NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America... do hereby find and proclaim that the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States constitutes a national emergency, beginning March 1, 2020." [37]

Press Conference:

"Q: Dr. Fauci said earlier this week that the lag in testing was, in fact, 'a failing.' Do you take responsibility for that?

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, no, I don't take responsibility at all, because we were given a — a set of circumstances and we were given rules, regulations, and specifications from a different time. It wasn't meant for this kind of an event with the kind of numbers that we're talking about. And what we've done is redesigned it very quickly with the help of the people behind me. And we're now in very, very strong shape." [66]

Press conference:

"[O]ur country is facing is everybody knows a medical and economic crisis, the likes of which we have not seen for generations and we must prepare for this response in an unprecedented way...

Needless to say, we must massively increase the availability of test skits for the Corona virus and the speed in which those tests are processed...

How could it be that when we spend so much more than what other countries are spending, we have millions of people who may be dealing with the virus, but who cannot go to a doctor because they cannot afford it." [38]
Mar. 15
Press conference:

"This is a very contagious virus. It's incredible. But it's something that we have tremendous control over.

I think, very important, the young people and people of good health, and groups of people, just are not strongly affected." [39]
Joe Biden's comments related to the coronavirus during the Democratic debate in Washington, DC, included his thoughts on the issues below:

-Wants to get test kits from WHO and have at least 10 drive-through testing spots per state.
-Have DOD and FEMA set up hospitals and tents
-Says present system cannot handle surge that's coming.
-Warns of impending financial crisis.
-"I would call out the military." [40]
Bernie Sanders' comments related to the coronavirus during the Democratic debate in Washington, DC, included his thoughts on the issues below:

"[W]e're in the middle of a national emergency."

-Says we need to address lack of medical personal and get the ventilators and IC units needed.
-Says pandemic exposes weaknesses of current healthcare system.
-Warns that we should pay attention to vulnerable populations, including homeless and prison. [40]
Date A. Donald Trump B. Joe Biden C. Bernie Sanders
Mar. 16
Twitter:

"The United States will be powerfully supporting those industries, like Airlines and others, that are particularly affected by the Chinese Virus. We will be stronger than ever before!" [41]
Twitter:

"In the wake of the coronavirus, we need a major bailout package that delivers real relief to the American people — not more handouts for giant corporations." [42]

Mar. 17
Press conference:

"Our guidance yesterday urges Americans to take action for 15 days to help stem the outbreak... We'll see what happens after that... our country can be rolling again pretty quickly...

I've always known this is a — this is a real — this is a pandemic. I've felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic." [43]
Online speech on Democratic primary night for Florida, Illinois, and Arizona:

"The coronavirus doesn't care if you're a Democrat or Republican. It will not discriminate based on national origin, race, gender, or your zip code. It will touch people in positions of power, as well as the most vulnerable people in our society." [44]
Twitter:

"The crisis we face from coronavirus is on the scale of a major war." [45]

Speech laying out his response to coronavirus:

"[M]y own guess is that we'll be spending at least $2 trillion in funding to prevent deaths, job losses, and to avoid an economic catastrophe...

[W]e need to provide a direct emergency $2,000 cash payment to every household in America every month for the duration of the crisis to provide them with the assistance they need to pay their bills and take care of their families." [46]
Mar. 18
Twitter:

"I only signed the Defense Production Act to combat the Chinese Virus should we need to invoke it in a worst case scenario in the future." [47]

Press conference:

Reporter Q: Why do you keep calling this the "Chinese virus"?... people say it's racist.

"It's not racist at all. No. Not at all. It comes from China. That's why. It comes from China. I want to be accurate."

Reporter Q: Do you consider America to be on a wartime footing, in terms of fighting this virus?

"I do. I view it as a, in a sense, a wartime president. I mean, that's what we're fighting." [48]

Closed US-Canada border to non-essential travel [49]


Mar. 19
Press conference:

"I don't view it as an act of God; I would view it as is something that just surprised the whole world. And if people would have known about it... It could have been stopped right where it came from — China...

So we slashed red tape to develop vaccines and therapies as fast as it can possibly be done — long before anybody else was even thinking about doing this.

Nobody knew there’d be a pandemic or an epidemic of this proportion. Nobody has ever seen anything like this before." [50]


Mar. 20
White House announcement of more measures including Tax Day moved to July 15, closing of US-Mexico border to non-essential travel, and waiving interest on student loans. [51] Call with reporters:

"He's [Trump] all over the map. In a crisis we need leadership that's straightforward, clear and reliable... Stop saying false things that will make you sound like a hero." [52]

Date A. Donald Trump B. Joe Biden C. Bernie Sanders
Mar. 21
Press conference:

"Last night, I [approved] a major disaster declaration for the State of New York. I worked very closely with Governor Cuomo. And is the first time in our nation's history that a President has used the Stafford Act to declare a major disaster in response to a public health crisis...

The Department of Education will not enforce standardized testing — which is another big deal — requirements for students in elementary through high school for the current school year." [53]


Mar. 22
Press conference:

"I'm of the opinion we have to do great during this 14 days, during the 15-day period. We'll know at the end of 14 days, pretty much. We're going to have a pretty good idea how we're doing.

I think you have to shut it down and you have to see. But, you know, there'll be a point at which we say, ‘We're back in business. Let's go.'" [54]

Twitter:

"WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF. AT THE END OF THE 15 DAY PERIOD, WE WILL MAKE A DECISION AS TO WHICH WAY WE WANT TO GO!" [55]

[The above is written in capital letters to preserve the formatting from the tweet as posted by President Trump.]

Twitter:

"Some of my Republican colleagues are calling for a $1,000, one-time check to Americans.

Really?

That'll last you two or three weeks. What happens after that?

We need to give every person in this country $2,000 a month for the duration of this crisis." [56]
Mar. 23
Twitter:

"It is very important that we totally protect our Asian American community in the United States, and all around the world. They are amazing people, and the spreading of the Virus....

....is NOT their fault in any way, shape, or form. They are working closely with us to get rid of it. WE WILL PREVAIL TOGETHER! [59]
Speech on YouTube:

"Our intelligence officials were warning of coronavirus threat in January. Just based on public information that I had, I warned the threat was getting worse way back on January the 27th...

As of late yesterday, we're told that the president still has not activated the authority under the Defense Production Act, which I and others call for him to invoke immediately and act on, to direct American manufacturers to make essential supplies." [57]
Twitter:

"We need an unprecedented legislative response that focuses on the emergency health care needs of the American people — not billions of dollars in corporate welfare to benefit CEOs and wealthy stockholders." [58]
Mar. 24
Virtual town hall with Coronavirus Task Force on Fox News:

"[W]e lose thousands and thousands of people a year to the flu. We don't turn the country off, I mean every year... We lose much more than that to automobile accidents. We didn't call up the automobile companies, say, 'Stop making cars. We don't want any cars anymore.'' We have to get back to work...

I would love to have it [the country] open by Easter. I will tell you that right now. I would love to have that. It's such an important day for other reasons, but I'll make it an important day for this too. I would love to have the country opened up and they're just raring to go by Easter...

But our country has to get back to work, otherwise it's going to be very hard to start it up again." [60]
Twitter:

"Let me be very clear: No one is expendable. No matter your age, race, gender, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability.

No life is worth losing to add one more point to the Dow." [61]
Town hall with public health experts:

"[T]hey [the Senate] are putting the finishing touches on the largest financial package of new money in the history of the United States. I expect the package will be over two trillion dollars, and that excludes many trillions of dollars coming from the Fed. The idea of the going big is something that not everybody agreed with at the beginning of this discussion; something that I thought was absolutely imperative. And I'm glad that we're coming up with some serious money to address an unprecedented crisis." [62]
Mar. 25
Press Conference:

"I have now approved major disaster declarations for New York, California, Washington, Iowa, Louisiana, Texas, and Florida. That has great significance, as you know, and legal significance...

We’re testing more than anybody right now. There’s nobody even close. And our tests are the best tests. They’re the most accurate tests...

We have some big problems, but it's confined to certain areas, high-density areas. So why would we test the entire nation — 350 [million] people? With that being said, I'm going to say it again: We tested far more than anybody else." [63]
The Biden Emergency Action Plan to Save the Economy:

"In recent days, there's been talk that we have to choose between public health and our economy. That's not just a false choice. It's a dangerous one.

It would be catastrophic to reopen everything without a plan, and then have a spike in cases and shut it all back down. That would just mean more loss of life and economic pain.

To reopen, public health experts say we need real testing capacity, the ability to trace contacts if someone tests positive, and the ability to surge equipment and supplies to any new hotspots." [64]
Live-streamed Address:

"[A]s we think about the moment that we are in, people are understanding that there is something wrong that we are the only major country on earth not to guarantee health care to all as a human right...

As you have heard me say before, it is beyond belief that the President of the United States has not fully utilized the Defense Production Act. And what that Act says is that the private sector, companies in the private sector, being well paid for their efforts, must convert their production away from consumer goods to the medical needs and other needs that the American people need right now." [65]
Date A. Donald Trump B. Joe Biden C. Bernie Sanders
Mar. 26
Interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News:

"I have a feeling that a lot of the numbers that are being said in some areas are just bigger than they're going to be. I don't believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators. You know, you're going to major hospitals sometimes, they'll have two ventilators." [68]
Twitter:

"If I were President, here's what I would do right now:

- Use all available authorities to turn the tide on this epidemic
- Launch a task force to ensure money rapidly gets to people who need it
- Bring leaders of Congress together to build the next deal" [82]
Twitter:

"It is unacceptable that healthcare workers are being forced to treat COVID-19 patients without personal protective equipment (PPE). Donald Trump must immediately invoke the Defense Production Act so that we can speed up the production of PPE for workers." [84]
Mar. 27
Statement regarding the Defense Production Act:

"Today, I signed a Presidential Memorandum directing the Secretary of Health and Human Services to use any and all authority available under the Defense Production Act to require General Motors to accept, perform, and prioritize Federal contracts for ventilators." [69]

Press conference:

"Q: What more, specifically, do you want the governor of Washington and the governor of Michigan to be doing?

THE PRESIDENT: All I want them to do — very simple — I want them to be appreciative. I don't want them to say things that aren't true. I want them to be appreciative. We've done a great job. And I'm not talking about me. I'm talking about Mike Pence, the task force; I'm talking about FEMA, the Army Corps of Engineers...

You know what I say? If they don't treat you right, I don't call. He's [Vice President Mike Pence] a different type of person. He'll call quietly anyway." [70]
CNN Joe Biden Town Hall:

On re-opening the country by Easter:

"[I]t's more likely to be sometime after the 31st of May into June... [I]t's a false choice to make, saying that either open the economy or everything goes to hell, or, in fact, you take care of the medical side."

On President Trump's pandemic response:

"[The Obama] administration spent a lot of time working with the incoming Trump administration, laying out exactly what could happen with a future pandemic, and that they were likely, not unlikely to occur…

We set up an office within the White House directly to stay focused on this, in the president -- in the White House and -- to deal with pandemics.

And the first thing this president did, maybe not the first but very first, he eliminated the office, took it out of the White House...

I just don't think he has taken this seriously from the outset."

Anderson Cooper: "He says that governors should be appreciative. Is that how government is supposed to work?"

Biden: "I thought the federal government's supposed to do their job, the federal government, dealing with a federal, national problem." [83]

Twitter:

"In response to the economic impact of COVID-19, we need to provide immediate relief to those who are drowning in student debt.

Every American should have a minimum of $10,000 of student loan debt forgiven."

"The coronavirus is not Donald Trump's fault, but his inept response is.

He ignored the warnings for months, downplayed the threat it posed, and failed to take the action needed to combat the outbreak.

It's one of the greatest failures of presidential leadership in our history." [81]

Mar. 28
Twitter:

"I am giving consideration to a QUARANTINE of developing 'hot spots', New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut."

"On the recommendation of the White House CoronaVirus Task Force, and upon consultation with the [Governors] of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, I have asked the @CDCgov to issue a strong Travel Advisory, to be administered by the Governors, in consultation with the.... ....Federal Government. A quarantine will not be necessary." [71]
Twitter:

"Let me be clear: No one should have to pay for coronavirus testing or treatment."

"The Administration promised millions of tests by mid-March. But it's not happening fast enough. Where are the tests, Mr. President?" [80]

Mar. 29
Press conference:

On equipment for hospitals:

"As you know, every level of government — state, local, and federal — is working nonstop to obtain more personal protective equipment for frontline workers...

Where are the masks going? Are they going out the back door? How do you go from 10,000 [masks used in normal conditions] to 300,000 [masks needed during the pandemic]?...

I don't think it's hoarding; I think it's maybe worse than hoarding. But check it out."

On a potential timeline:

"The peak, the highest point of death rates — remember this — is likely to hit in two weeks. Nothing would be worse than declaring victory before the victory is won. That would be the greatest loss of all...Therefore, we will be extending our guidelines to April 30th to slow the spread... We can expect that, by June 1st, we will be well on our way to recovery. We think, by June 1st, a lot of great things will be happening."

On estimated deaths from coronavirus:

"[A ]lot of people have been asking, 'Well, what would have happened if we did nothing? Did nothing — we just rode it out.'...

Think of the number: 2.2 — potentially 2.2 million people [dying of coronavirus] if we did nothing. If we didn't do the distancing, if we didn't do all of the things that we're doing…

And so, if we can hold that down, as we're saying, to 100,000 [deaths] — that's a horrible number — maybe even less, but to 100,000; so we have between 100- and 200,000 — we all, together, have done a very good job." [72]
Twitter:

"I am issuing this challenge to the President: in the next 48 hours, direct the production and distribution of respirator masks, gloves, protective face shields and gowns to fill every supply request made by a governor to the federal government.

Lives are at stake." [79]

Mar. 30
Call with state governors:

Montana Governor Steve Bullock: "Literally we are one day away, if we don't get test kits from the CDC, that we wouldn't be able to do testing in Montana."

President Trump: "I haven't heard about testing in weeks. We've tested more now than any nation in the world. We've got these great tests and we're coming out with another one tomorrow where it's almost instantaneous testing. But I haven't heard about testing being a problem." [76]

Press Conference:

"Challenging times are ahead for the next 30 days, and this is a very vital 30 days...

People should be staying at home...

[T]he economy is number two on my list. First, I want to save a lot of lives. We're going to get the economy back. I think the economy is going to come back very fast."

On testing:

"Q: Mr. President, you said several times that the United States has ramped up testing, but the United States is still not testing per capita as many people as other countries like South Korea...

THE PRESIDENT: Look — look — per capita. We have areas of country that's very tight. I know South Korea better than anybody. It's a — very tight. Do you know how many people are in Seoul? Do you know how big the city of Seoul is?... Thirty-eight million people all tightly wound together.

We have vast farmlands. We have vast areas where they don't have much of a problem. In some cases, they have no problem whatsoever. We have done more tests... I didn't talk about per capita." [73]
Twitter:

"We must move forward on a fourth coronavirus stimulus package.

This bill must protect workers, not hand out more corporate welfare.

It must provide a full paycheck for laid off workers for the duration of the crisis, and guarantee health care for all." [85]
Date A. Donald Trump B. Joe Biden C. Bernie Sanders
Mar. 31
Press Conference:

"We're at war with a deadly virus... this is going to be a very painful, very, very painful two weeks...

The question is what would have happened if we did nothing? Because there was a group that said let's just ride it out... 2.2 million people would've died if we did nothing. We just carried on our life. Now I don't think that would've been possible because you would have had people dying all over the place. This would not have been a normal life. How many people have even seen anybody die? You would have seen people dying on airplanes. You would've been seeing people dying in hotel lobbies. You would have seen death all over...

I think the one thing nobody really knew about this virus was how contagious it was. It's so incredibly contagious. And nobody knew that."

On whether impeachment process was a distraction:

"Q: [Mitch McConnell] said that impeachment diverted the attention of the government... Did it divert your attention or your team's attention or the Vice President's attention?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I don't like to think I did. I think I handled it very well, but I guess it probably did. I mean, I got impeached. I think, you know, I certainly devoted a little time to thinking about it, right? So, but think of it: It was a hoax. It was a total hoax." [74]
Twitter:

"We're in the middle of a global pandemic, and the Trump Administration is preventing people from getting health care.

I can't believe this needs to be said, but President Trump needs to reopen Obamacare enrollment, and he needs to do it now. Lives are at stake."

"We have to place a temporary ban on evictions nationwide. No one should be forced out of their home in the middle of a pandemic." [78]
Late Night with Seth Meyers:

"Right now, as we speak, millions of people are losing their jobs. And some 87 million people already did not have any health insurance or are underinsured. So people are sitting home right now, scared to death that somebody in their family is going to come down with the virus. They don't know how they will even pay for the treatment they receive let alone any other problems their families have…

The truth is, we should ask ourselves how in the wealthiest country on Earth, not only our doctors and nurses don't have the equipment they need, our EMT people, these are people on ambulances now, putting their lives on the line, doing incredibly important work, the cops, the firemen, and they're getting sick. And in some cases they're getting sick because they don't have the equipment that they need. We don't have enough ventilators in certain hospitals, ICU units. How does that happen in the richest country on Earth?" [88]
Apr. 1
Press Conference:

On China:

"Q: [D]id China underreport both the number of cases and the death toll from the coronavirus?...

THE PRESIDENT: We really don't know. I mean, yeah — look, how do we know whether if they underreported or reported however they report?

But we had a great call the other night. We're working together on a lot of different things, including trade."

On comparing coronavirus to the flu:

"Q: [Yesterday] you said, 'This is no flu...' over the past month, you've compared it to the flu sometimes, saying, 'Treat it like the flu...'

So what changed your thinking on that or your language on that?

THE PRESIDENT: I think the severity. I think also in looking at the way the contagion — it is so contagious. Nobody has ever seen anything like this, where large groups of people, all of a sudden, just by being in the presence of somebody, have it. The flu has never been like that." [75]
Twitter:

"It's now April, and:

- States still don't have enough tests
- Hospitals still don't have enough ventilators
- Health care workers still don't have enough masks

Donald Trump needs to use all available authorities immediately to solve these shortages." [77]
ABC's The View:

"Q: What's the number one thing that keeps you up at night right now?

Sanders: Number one thing, clearly I think, that Trump from the very beginning downplayed the threat of this virus. The idea that today we have doctors and nurses in this country that do not have masks that cost 50 cents or a dollar apiece is unbelievable. Not enough ventilators, gloves, gowns. That speaks to this health care system, but right now we have to listen to the scientists. We have to maintain our social distancing. We need the world to cooperate to move as aggressively as we can to come up with a vaccine, to come up with any kind of treatment that we can." [86]

Twitter:

"People shouldn't have to put their lives on the line to vote. Wisconsin should join the 15 states delaying elections, delay Tuesday's vote, extend early voting, and work to send every voter a ballot by mail. While we wait for a decision we urge our supporters to vote-by-mail." [87]
Date A. Donald Trump B. Joe Biden C. Bernie Sanders

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew J. Belvedere, "Trump Says He Trusts China's Xi on Coronavirus and the US Has It 'Totally under Control,'" cnbc.com, Jan. 22, 2020

  2. Donald Trump, Twitter.com, Jan. 24, 2020

  3. Donald Trump, Twitter.com, Jan. 27, 2020

  4. Joe Biden, "Trump Is Worst Possible Leader to Deal with Coronavirus Outbreak," usatoday.com, Jan. 27, 2020

  5. Donald Trump, Twitter.com, Jan. 29, 2020

  6. White House, "Statement from the Press Secretary Regarding the President's Coronavirus Task Force," whitehouse.gov, Jan. 29, 2020

  7. Brianna Abbott, Katie Camero, and Erin Mendell, "Coronavirus Is Declared a Global Health Emergency as Threat Rises Outside China," wsj.com, Jan. 30, 2020

  8. Donald Trump, "Proclamation on Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Persons who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus," whitehouse.gov, Jan. 31, 2020

  9. Trevor Hunnicutt, "Biden Slams Trump for Cutting Health Programs before Coronavirus Outbreak," reuters.com, Jan. 31, 2020

  10. Joe Biden, Twitter.com, Feb. 1, 2020

  11. Donald Trump, Twitter.com, Feb. 7, 2020

  12. Donald Trump, "Remarks by President Trump at the White House Business Session with Our Nation’s Governors," whitehouse.gov, Feb. 10, 2020

  13. Donald Trump, Twitter.com, Feb. 24, 2020

  14. Donald Trump, Twitter.com, Feb. 25, 2020

  15. Rev, "South Carolina Democratic Debate Transcript: February 25 Democratic Debate," rev.com, Feb. 26, 2020

  16. White House, "Remarks by President Trump, Vice President Pence, and Members of the Coronavirus Task Force in Press Conference" whitehouse.gov, Feb. 27, 2020

  17. Bernie Sanders, Twitter.com, Feb. 26, 2020

  18. Donald Trump, "Remarks by President Trump in Meeting with African American Leaders," whitehouse.gov, Feb. 28, 2020

  19. Rebecca Klar, "Sanders Blasts Trump for Picking 'Completely Unqualified' Pence for Coronavirus Response," thehill.com, Feb. 27, 2020

  20. Lauren Egan, "Trump Calls Coronavirus Democrats' 'New Hoax,'" thehill.com, Feb. 28, 2020

  21. Marina Pitofsky, "Biden Says 'No One' Takes Trump's Word on Coronavirus," thehill.com, Feb. 28, 2020

  22. Devan Cole, "Biden Slams Trump Administration's Response to Coronavirus Outbreak," cnn.com, Mar. 1, 2020

  23. ABC News, "'This Week' Transcript 3-1-20:? Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Alex Azar," abcnews.go.com, Mar. 1, 2020

  24. Donald Trump, "Remarks by President Trump and Members of the Coronavirus Task Force in Meeting with Pharmaceutical Companies," whitehouse.gov, Mar. 2, 2020

  25. Factbase, "Interview: Sean Hannity Interviews Donald Trump Via Telephone - March 4, 2020," factba.se, Mar. 4, 2020

  26. Donald Trump, Twitter.com, Mar. 5, 2020

  27. Donald Trump, "Remarks by President Trump after Tour of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Atlanta, GA," whitehouse.gov, Mar. 7, 2020

  28. Donald Trump, Twitter.com, Mar. 9, 2020

  29. Rev, "Bernie Sanders St. Louis Rally Speech Transcript – March 9, 2020," rev.com, Mar. 9, 2020

  30. Donald Trump, "Remarks by President Trump after Meeting with Republican Senators," whitehouse.gov, Mar. 10, 2020

  31. Dominic Patten, "Despite Coronavirus Concerns, Joe Biden Sets Philly Event Tonight; Axed Cleveland Rally On Super Tuesday II," deadline.com, Mar. 10, 2020

  32. Ted Johnson, "Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden Cancel Tuesday Night Rallies Over Concerns Of Spread Of Coronavirus," deadline.com, Mar. 10, 2020

  33. Donald Trump, "Remarks by President Trump in Address to the Nation," whitehouse.gov, Mar. 11, 2020

  34. Joe Biden, "The Biden Plan to Combat Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Prepare for Future Global Health Threats," joebiden.com, Mar. 12, 2020

  35. Rev, "Joe Biden Speech Transcript on Coronavirus: March 12, 2020," rev.com, Mar. 12, 2020

  36. Adam Cancryn, "Sanders Warns of Coronavirus 'Meltdown' on Par with World War II," politico.com, Mar. 12, 2020

  37. Donald Trump, "Proclamation on Declaring a National Emergency Concerning the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Outbreak," whitehouse.gov, Mar. 13, 2020

  38. Rev, "Bernie Sanders News Conference Transcript on COVID-19," rev.com, Mar. 13, 2020

  39. White House, "Remarks by President Trump, Vice President Pence, and Members of the Coronavirus Task Force in Press Briefing," whitehouse.gov, Mar. 15, 2020

  40. Rev, "March Democratic Debate Transcript: Joe Biden & Bernie Sanders," rev.com, Mar. 16, 2020

  41. Donald Trump, Twitter.com, Mar. 16, 2020

  42. Joe Biden, Twitter.com, Mar. 16, 2020

  43. White House, "Remarks by President Trump, Vice President Pence, and Members of the Coronavirus Task Force in Press Briefing," whitehouse.gov, Mar. 17, 2020

  44. Rev, "Joe Biden Speech Transcript on Primary Night: Coronavirus, Economy, Primaries," rev.com, Mar. 17, 2020

  45. Bernie Sanders, Twitter.com, Mar. 17, 2020

  46. Rev, "Bernie Sanders Coronavirus Speech Transcript on Primary Night March 17," rev.com, Mar. 17, 2020

  47. Donald Trump, Twitter.com, Mar. 18, 2020

  48. White House, "Remarks by President Trump, Vice President Pence, and Members of the Coronavirus Task Force in Press Briefing," whitehouse.gov, Mar. 18, 2020

  49. David M. Shribman and Noah Bierman, "Canada and U.S. Close World's Longest Land Border to 'Nonessential' Travel," latimes.com, Mar. 18, 2020

  50. White House, "Remarks by President Trump, Vice President Pence, and Members of the Coronavirus Task Force in Press Briefing," whitehouse.gov, Mar. 19, 2020

  51. White House, "President Trump Announces More Actions to Confront Global Pandemic," whitehouse.gov, Mar. 20, 2020

  52. Eric Bradner and Sarah Mucha, "Biden to Trump on Coronavirus: 'Stop Saying False Things That Will Make You Sound like a Hero'," cnn.com, Mar. 20, 2020

  53. White House, "Remarks by President Trump, Vice President Pence, and Members of the Coronavirus Task Force in Press Briefing," whitehouse.gov, Mar. 21, 2020

  54. White House, "Remarks by President Trump, Vice President Pence, and Members of the Coronavirus Task Force in Press Briefing," whitehouse.gov, Mar. 22, 2020

  55. Donald Trump, Twitter.com, Mar. 22, 2020

  56. Bernie Sanders, Twitter.com, Mar. 22, 2020

  57. Rev, "Joe Biden YouTube Speech Transcript on Coronavirus – March 23," rev.com, Mar. 23, 2020

  58. Bernie Sanders, Twitter.com, Mar. 23, 2020

  59. Donald Trump, Twitter.com, Mar. 23, 2020

  60. Rev, "Donald Trump Coronavirus Town Hall Transcript March 24: Trump Wants to Restart the Economy by Easter," rev.com, Mar. 24, 2020

  61. Joe Biden, Twitter.com, Mar. 24, 2020

  62. Rev, "Bernie Sanders Town Hall Coronavirus Transcript with Public Health Experts," rev.com, Mar. 24, 2020

  63. White House, "Remarks by President Trump, Vice President Pence, and Members of the Coronavirus Task Force in Press Briefing," whitehouse.gov, Mar. 25, 2020

  64. Joe Biden, "The Biden Emergency Action Plan to Save the Economy," joebiden.com, Mar. 25, 2020

  65. Bernie Sanders, "Coronavirus Legislative Update with Bernie (7PM ET)," youtube.com, Mar. 25, 2020

  66. White House, "Remarks by President Trump, Vice President Pence, and Members of the Coronavirus Task Force in Press Briefing," whitehouse.gov, Mar. 13, 2020

  67. Factbase, "Speech: Donald Trump Holds a Political Rally in Charlotte, North Carolina - March 2, 2020," factba.se, Mar. 2, 2020

  68. Fox News, "EXCLUSIVE: Trump Goes One-on-One with Hannity to Discuss Coronavirus Response,” youtube.com, Mar. 26, 2020

  69. President Trump, "Statement from the President Regarding the Defense Production Act,” whitehouse.gov, Mar. 27, 2020

  70. White House, "Remarks by President Trump, Vice President Pence, and Members of the Coronavirus Task Force in Press Briefing," Mar. 28, 2020

  71. Donald Trump, twitter.com, Mar. 28, 2020

  72. White House, "Remarks by President Trump, Vice President Pence, and Members of the Coronavirus Task Force in Press Briefing," whitehouse.gov, Mar. 30, 2020

  73. White House, "Remarks by President Trump and Members of the Coronavirus Task Force in a Press Briefing," whitehouse.gov, Mar. 30, 2020

  74. White House, "Remarks by President Trump, Vice President Pence, and Members of the Coronavirus Task Force in Press Briefing," whitehouse.gov, Apr. 1, 2020

  75. White House, "Remarks by President Trump, Vice President Pence, and Members of the Coronavirus Task Force in Press Briefing," whitehouse.gov, Apr. 1, 2020

  76. Jonathan Martin, Maggie Haberman, and Mike Baker, "Trump Suggests Lack of Testing Is No Longer a Problem. Governors Disagree.," nytimes.com, Mar. 30, 2020

  77. Joe Biden, twitter.com, Apr. 1, 2020

  78. Joe Biden, twitter.com, Mar. 31, 2020

  79. Joe Biden, twitter.com, Mar. 29, 2020

  80. Joe Biden, twitter.com, Mar. 28, 2020

  81. Joe Biden, twitter.com, Mar. 27, 2020

  82. Joe Biden, twitter.com, Mar. 26, 2020

  83. CNN, "CNN Joe Biden Town Hall. Aired 8-9p ET," cnn.com, Mar. 27, 2020

  84. Bernie Sanders, twitter.com, Mar. 26, 2020

  85. Bernie Sanders, twitter.com, Mar. 30, 2020

  86. The View, "Bernie Sanders Says Trump 'Downplayed' Threat of Coronavirus Outbreak," abcnews.go.com.com, Apr. 1, 2020

  87. Bernie Sanders, twitter.com, Apr. 1, 2020

  88. Late Night with Seth Meyers, "Sen. Bernie Sanders Talks COVID-19, Medicare for All and Coronavirus Stimulus," youtube.com, Mar. 31, 2020