The world is battling a “brilliant” enemy in the novel coronavirus, President Donald Trump said during Friday’s White House briefing, before launching into an explanation about how “germs” have outsmarted antibiotics.
“This is very complex. This is a very brilliant enemy,” the president said — and then he began some type of off-the-cuff science lesson.
“They develop drugs, like the antibiotics,” Trump explained. “Antibiotics used to solve every problem. Now one of the biggest problems the world has is the germ has gotten so brilliant, that the antibiotic can’t keep up with it.”
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are a real problem, though it is unclear how this issue factors into the coronavirus situation, as viruses are not affected by antibiotics.
Trump went on to explain how people go to the hospital for surgeries and after surviving the procedure, end up dying from a bacterial infection that cannot be treated successfully with current antibiotics.
“People go to a hospital,” he said. “They go for a heart operation, that’s no problem. But they end up dying from problems. You know the problems I’m talking about.”
Again, the coronavirus is not bacterial — it is viral. It is unclear whether the president does not appreciate the distinction between the two (after all, he did use the catchall term “germ”) or if he was simply highlighting a separate issue as it popped into his head.