It’s Becoming Clear That Trump Doesn’t Know What Sarcasm Means

Photo: Michael Reynolds/EPA/Bloomberg/Getty Images.
President Donald Trump claimed on Friday that when he was discussing possible COVID-19 cures during a press conference and posed a question about whether disinfectant could be injected or ingested that he was being sarcastic "just to see what would happen." However, the video of Trump asking about disinfectant and testing a "very powerful light" to be shone "either through the skin or in some other way" as coronavirus treatment doesn’t seem particularly sarcastic. Perhaps the president doesn't understand the meaning of the word? In response to Trump's claim, Merriam-Webster tweeted out its definition: "Sarcasm: a sharp and often satirical or ironic utterance designed to cut or give pain." Why would Trump want to inflict a comedic jab when the U.S. has more than 900,000 people diagnosed with COVID-19 and 50,000 have died from it?
Trump's tactic of claiming "sarcasm" isn't a new strategy. He has used bad-mannered jokes numerous times before as a get-out-of-jail card or a last resort when called out for lying or being offensive. 
In late March, when Trump was informed that Sen. Mitt Romney was in quarantine after being exposed to Sen. Rand Paul, who had tested positive for COVID-19, he told a reporter, "Gee, that's too bad," according to the Washington Post. The reporter then asked Trump, "Do I detect sarcasm there, sir?" Trump replied, "No, none whatsoever." A couple of days later, when Romney shared that he had tested negative for COVID-19, the president, actually employing sarcasm correctly, tweeted, "This is really great news! I am so happy I can barely speak. He may have been a terrible presidential candidate and an even worse U.S. Senator, but he is a RINO, and I like him a lot!" Trump refers to Romney as a "RINO," which means "Republican In Name Only," because the Utah senator has spoken against the president and voted to impeach him.
While Trump may be misusing sarcasm, some of his fellow Republicans are really nailing it. It's evident most Republican politicians have not taken the coronavirus seriously, not at the beginning of the shutdown and indeed not now, as some Republican governors are opening their states far too soon and against the advice of medical experts. Take, for example, Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, who wore a gas mask on the House floor in early March. He tweeted the image and said, "Reviewing the coronavirus supplemental appropriation and preparing to go vote."
On March 11, Matt Bevin, former Kentucky governor, tweeted, "BREAKING NEWS: Chicken Little has just confirmed that the sky IS indeed falling... Everyone is advised to take cover immediately and to bring lots of toilet paper with them when they do so..."
Following suit, on March 16, Texas Rep. Chip Roy — who voted against the coronavirus relief package — said, in a now-deleted tweet, "The only thing missing from the #PelosiDeal is free toilet paper for all."
No one is actually buying that Trump was being sarcastic with his suggestions that Americans drink disinfectant and inject light into their bodies, not even his allies at Fox News. “Please don’t try this at home,” Fox Business anchor Stuart Varney said. 
Last month, the National Republican Congressional Committee had already warned their members not to make light of the coronavirus. 
"At times like this you need to ask yourself if your press release or snarky comment are in poor taste," the National Republican Congressional Committee wrote. You should hold your applause for the National Republican Congressional Committee because, on April 17, they issued another memo instructing their followers on how to deflect any blame onto China, while also informing them how to handle "accusations of racism.” 
Trump’s history of lying and being offensive — then attributing it to being sarcastic — has been long documented thanks to his Twitter account and countless video footage. From delivering a six-page angry letter/Christmas card to Democrats before the impeachment vote to making comments about former presidents, such as saying he “never thought” Jimmy Carter “was alive as president”, and calling himself "the chosen one," Trump can't think we're clueless to his tone and mental state.
The reality is that the White House and Trump's lackeys have handled this pandemic utterly wrong. Trump's callous suggestion about disinfectant or using other forms of unproven medication is irresponsible and dangerous. There’s no room for sarcasm during a national time of panic anyway.
COVID-19 has been declared a global pandemic. Go to the CDC website for the latest information on symptoms, prevention, and other resources.

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