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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!