April 22, 2020 / 2:40 PM / 3 months ago

False claim: In 2009 Trump tweeted that he “would never let thousands of Americans die from a pandemic”

Social media users are circulating a screenshot of what appears to be an old tweet from President Donald Trump ( here , here , and  here ).

The image shows a tweet allegedly posted by Trump on November 23, 2009, during the swine flu outbreak. It reads: “Obama’s handling of this whole pandemic has been terrible! As President, ALL responsibility becomes yours during a crisis like this, whether or not you’re entirely to blame. John McCain, and for that matter myself, would never let thousands of Americans die from a pandemic while in office.”

There is no evidence this tweet is real. A search on Twitter produces no results for any tweets matching or resembling the remarks attributed to Trump in the viral image. An archive of Trump’s feed gives no further indication that Trump ever tweeted about the H1N1 pandemic on November 23, 2009, or at any point in late 2009 (here://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump).

This year, Trump has taken to Twitter to rail against Obama and his handling of the H1N1 swine flu outbreak on numerous occasions, ( here , here ), but the viral image circulating on social media appears to be fabricated.

On March 13, 2020, Trump said that he didn’t “take responsibility at all” for the lag in COVID-19 testing, claiming that his administration had inherited “a set of circumstances”, as well as “rules and regulations ... from a different time” ( here ).

The claim comes amid the novel coronavirus outbreak that has left over 720,000 infected and over 34,000 dead in the U.S. alone, as of April 20, 2020 ( here ).


False: Trump did not tweet that he “would never let thousands of Americans die from a pandemic while in office” during the 2009 swine flu outbreak

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact checking work here

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