Every day, the President’s staff prepare Talking Points — suggested remarks for his use as needed. With many potential subjects to cover, and given the President’s propensity for directness and brevity, they have kept suggested remarks about Covid-19 pointed and short.
The first TP (Talking Point, not Toilet Paper) was produced on January 15, the most recent, on March 25. You can feel the tone shifting subtly over time, responding to changing circumstances, alterations in the President’s mood, and, with delicacy, to staff’s own perception of the facts.
In light of all these factors, some TPs were good for days and some required change within hours. Here is how they developed over time:
Not Even Remotely Possible
It’s Thousands of Miles Away; Some Town in China
When the Moon Turns Blue
Not a Snowball’s Chance in Hell
Are You Kidding Me?
In Your Dreams
Do You Believe Everything You Hear?
Yeah, And the Pope Is Jewish!
Who Told You That?
Don’t Be A Rumor-Monger
Are You Some Kind of Anarchist?
There’s No Proof
Would I Lie to You?
It Wasn’t a Lie, It Was for Your Own Good
There’s Absolutely No Need to Panic
It’s the Fault of Obamacare
We’ve Got a Good Handle on Things
This Will Only Hurt A Little Bit For A Very Short Time
It’s Just Like a Cold: A Few Sniffles and A Day in Bed
I Had a Sniffle Yesterday. Just An Allergy
A Spoonful of Sugar Makes the Medicine Go Down
A Couple Weeks and We’ll All Be Fine
Y’know, Actually, They’re Pretty Cute, With Those Red-Fuzz-Tipped Antennas
We’re Getting the Best of Them
Cross My Heart and Hope to … Well, You Know What I Mean
Almost Everybody Will Not Die
You Might Want to Pack An Overnight Bag
Not Too Many Will Die
We’ve Got Our Best People On It
You Might Want to Update Your Will
Not Too Many Thousands Will Die
Would I Lie to You?
Most of Them Would Have Died Within Five Years Anyway
Gotta Get People Back to Work Quick. There’ll Be Lots of Openings.
Don’t Look at Me! The Chinks Started It!