Washington DC, Sep 15 (efe-epa).- United States President Donald Trump took part in an ABC network town hall meeting with voters in the key state of Pennsylvania Tuesday, which was defined by several key moments that drew much attention from the public.
Renowned journalist George Stephanopoulos moderated the Philadelphia event, where voters were able to ask questions.
Here are some of the standout moments:
WAITERS DON’T LIKE MASKS
Julie Bard, a Gibsonia, Pennsylvania resident who voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016, asked the president why he did not support a mandate for national mask wearing and did not wear one more often.
Trump, who at the beginning of the pandemic was skeptical about the use of masks, said that he does use them when visiting hospitals, adding: “A lot of people don’t want to wear masks. There are a lot of people think that masks are not good. ”
Stephanopoulos asked the president: “Who are these people?”
“I’ll tell you who those people are – waiters,” Trump replied. “I saw it the other day where they were serving me, and they’re playing with the mask.”
“The concept of a mask is good,” he continued, “but it also does… you’re constantly touching it, you’re touching your face, you’re touching plates. There are people that don’t think masks are good.”
COMPARISONS WITH CHURCHILL AND ‘HERD MENTALITY’
Trump has compared himself to former British prime minister Winston Churchill during World War II, and did so again Tuesday to justify why he intentionally downplayed the pandemic in February and March knowing its severity, as revealed in the book “Rage” by journalist Bob Woodward.
“It was very well known that he was standing on buildings, and they were bombing. And he says everyone’s going to be safe,” the president said. “So I guess you could say that’s not so honest, but it’s still a great leader.”
Trump’s comparison to Churchill is inaccurate, historian Jon Meacham, author of the book “Franklin and Winston,” told ABC.
To illustrate, Meacham used a quote from Churchill himself: “The British people can face any misfortune with fortitude and buoyancy as long as they are convinced that those in charge of their affairs are not deceiving them, or are not dwelling in a fool’s paradise.”
Despite what his own advisers say, Trump again insisted that the virus will disappear “over a period of time” and a “herd mentality” will be developed, apparently referring to herd immunity.
“You’ll develop herd – like a herd mentality. It’s going to be – it’s going to be herd-developed, and that’s going to happen,” Trump insisted.
He said that his government had done a “tremendous job” in response to the pandemic, despite the fact that the US exceeds 195,000 deaths and 6.6 million infections – the worst in the world for both cases and deaths.
OFFICIALS ‘DISGRUNTLED FORMER EMPLOYEES’
The president became defensive when Stephanopoulos asked him about the comments of his former defense secretary General James Mattis and his ex-national security adviser John Bolton.
“The people in these top military positions who served most closely with you have said you’re unfit for office. How do you respond to that?” he asked.