President Donald Trump is doubling down on his belief that the novel coronavirus will "disappear." Speaking during an ABC News town hall in Pennsylvania Tuesday, the president, when pressed about his comments regarding the virus by host George Stephanopoulos, seemingly mixed up herd mentality and herd immunity, prompting people to roast him on social media.
During the town hall, Trump told Stephanopoulos that "with time," the virus, which is responsible for nearly 200,000 deaths in the United States, will "go away." He explained that "you'll develop herd — like a herd mentality." He added that "it's going to be herd-developed, and that's going to happen," explaining that "but with a vaccine, I think it will go away very quickly" before insisting that the country is "rounding the corner" with the virus.
.@GStephanopoulos presses Pres. Trump on his claims that COVID-19 will "disappear."
Stephanopoulos: "It would go away without the vaccine?"
Pres. Trump: "Sure, over a period of time. Sure, with time."September 16, 2020
Trump, however, seemed to have mistaken herd mentality for herd immunity. As reported by Business Insider, herd immunity "is the point a population reaches when enough people become immune to a virus to stop it from continuing to spread." This can occur through exposure or a vaccine. Herd mentality, or mob mentality, meanwhile, describes how people can be influenced by the "herd" to act in certain ways.
While Trump breezed pass the moment, social media was quick to pick up on it. As the town hall continued, Trump answering a variety of other questions, Twitter ignited with people roasting the president’s word mishap. Keep scrolling to see what social media is saying.
He doesn't even know the proper name for the crackpot theory he's backing to kill millions of Americans
It's "herd immunity," not "herd mentality," and it's how you handle the bubonic plague if you're living in Restoration-era England, not the g*ddamned United States in 2020 JFC https://t.co/IFLnPsF6mA— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 16, 2020
Donald Trump battles the English language in an attempt to let voters know he now supports herd immunity (3 million US deaths) as the solution to COVID:
“You’re going to develop, you’re going to develop herd mentality; it’s going to be, going to be herd developed.” https://t.co/vJVp0kcyFF— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) September 16, 2020
So when do conservatives declare Trump unfit because he said "herd mentality" instead of herd immunity? Or because he talked about COVID with a woman who said her mother died of cancer? That's how it works, right? Because that's what they've said about Joe Biden over far less.— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) September 16, 2020
“Herd mentality” Can’t make this up... 😵 https://t.co/pacQwm5C3w— Melanie Thompson (@drmt) September 16, 2020
The virus will go away because we will develop a "herd mentality"? https://t.co/Nl4XIThxoy— Afzal A Chowdhury (@afzalac) September 16, 2020
Herd immunity = an epidemiological term misused by idiots who don’t want to wear masks#HerdMentality = a Trump rally
Hope that helps clarify.— Alex Cole (@acnewsitics) September 16, 2020
Last night Trump was even more confusing than normal because he kept using the term herd mentality to describe what appeared to be herd immunity. Here's the Wikipedia definition of herd mentality. pic.twitter.com/jKx3UmaEiW— Dave Matt (@davematt88) September 16, 2020
he doesn't know the difference between herd immunity and herd mentality pic.twitter.com/n2iewe1j4g— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) September 16, 2020
When Trump says "herd mentality," does he mean "herd immunity"? And if he does, in fact, mean "herd immunity," does Trump not know what it's called? Or was it just a slip-up that, had Joe Biden made it, would be seen as a massive sign of his mental decay by conservatives?— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) September 16, 2020
Herd “mentality” is a gaffe indicative of mind boggling stupidity and cognitive decline. But it distracts from the fact @realDonaldTrump has no plan for dealing with the pandemic. Herd immunity is not a plan. It is a death sentence for the economy and millions of American lives.— Bradley Whitford (@BradleyWhitford) September 16, 2020
We are all stunned both by Trump’s inability to tell the difference between herd immunity & #HerdMentality as well as the idea that the president may be entertaining herd immunity (3 million dead) as a public health strategy: https://t.co/KDhlICYD9d— HawaiiDelilah™ (@HawaiiDelilah) September 16, 2020
It's hard to have much faith in our President's ability to fight COVID when he calls his alleged strategy "herd mentality", not herd immunity. Shocking incompetence.— Michael McFaul (@McFaul) September 16, 2020
This is the key point. Everyone on Twitter is mocking Trump's misstatement ("herd mentality" v "herd immunity"). That's a goof.
But if Trump's strategy is to simply let the virus "run its course," that could mean 2m deaths in the next 12 months. That's the real headline. https://t.co/RxeTWUMDfl— Ronald Klain (@RonaldKlain) September 16, 2020