CNN's Chris Cillizza has a problem. In order for him to claim that President Donald Trump is "rewriting history" concerning his handling of the coronavirus outbreak, he has to avoid an important chunk of that history. The irony is that it turns out that Cillizza himself is the one that is rewriting history by failing to report on a important decision by Trump early in the outbreak that significantly reduced the number of coronavirus cases in the United States during the early stages.
Cillizza found it so urgent to make his claim about rewriting history that he wrote two stories on this theme in two days.
The first of the stories featuring Cilllizza rewriting history by ignoring history to charge Trump with rewriting history came on Tuesday with "Donald Trump can't face the stubborn reality: He was wrong about coronavirus." And, as we shall see, it is Cillizza who can't face the stubborn reality that Trump was right about coronavirus by a certain early decision he made which was criticized by much of the media, including CNN, and by Democrats.
If you don't blink your eyes, you will now see Cillizza come as close as he dares to referring a certain action taken by Trump that he does not mention in detail or it would demolish his Orange Man Bad narrative:
In early February, Trump told Sean Hannity this: "We pretty much shut it down coming in from China." He had not, in fact, "shut it down." Again, almost 161,000 confirmed cases in the United States and 3,000 deaths.
Trump did indeed shut down travel from China and if he hadn't taken that widely criticized step, the coronavirus cases and deaths would now be much higher in America. In fact, one of the most prominent experts on the Coronavirus Task Force, Dr. Anthony Fauci, told Morning Joe on March 13 just how important that travel ban was.
Clearly, early on, we made a travel ban with regard to China that was a very smart move right there because what that did was prevent a major influx from China.
And now Cillizza pushes the "rewrite" shtick which is at the heart of the narrative he is hyping:
What Trump is doing now is what he always does about everything: Attempting to rewrite history so that it looks like he was always the smartest guy in the room, the one person who saw this all coming from a mile away.
..But the truth still matters. And the truth is that Trump repeatedly downplayed the threat coronavirus posed to the country, providing Americans with false hope when they needed candor and transparency most of all.
You want the truth, Chris? Your own CNN was slamming Trump for instituting the China travel ban that Dr. Fauci stated was so important. Here is CNN's Catherine Shoichet on February 7, "The US coronavirus travel ban could backfire. Here's how."
World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned this week that travel bans might do more harm than good.
"Such restrictions can have the effect of increasing fear and stigma, with little public health benefit," he said Tuesday in Geneva. "Where such measures have been implemented, we urge that they are short in duration, proportionate to the public health risks, and are reconsidered regularly as the situation evolves."
Cillizza was so desperate to continue the Trump as rewriter of history bit that he returned to it the next day, April 1, and it was no April Fools joke on his part as his title exclaimed, "Why Donald Trump shouldn't get credit for (finally) realizing coronavirus is actually deadly serious."
Trump is in the process of doing what he always does: Rewriting history -- and, specifically, his own actions to ensure that he is the hero of the story. Over the past 48 hours, he has repeatedly cited estimates that without any interventions -- like social distancing -- more than 2 million Americans could lose their lives as a result of the coronavirus.
Which, sure. But there was never ANY question as to whether the US needed to follow best practices on how to flatten the curve on the spread of the coronavirus. Especially given that Trump -- and the rest of the country -- saw how coronavirus had affected China and led to an effective shuttering of society to stop its spread.