Anderson Cooper did not mince words Monday as he rattled off Donald Trump’s most recent racist outbursts and called out the president’s inflammatory rhetoric as an attempt to divert attention from the resurgence of coronavirus around the country.
“If divisive, inflammatory racist words could kill the coronavirus, then the president of the United States would be headed to Stockholm right now to pick up his Nobel prize in medicine,” the CNN host said.
“He’s trying to persuade the country that the virus is simply vanishing, or if that won’t work, he’s trying to divert people’s attention elsewhere to smearing a Black NASCAR driver, supporting the Confederate flag and statues of traitors,” he added.
Earlier, Trump launched a baseless attack on Bubba Wallace, NASCAR’s only Black driver, over an incident last month when a noose was found by a crew member in his garage. An FBI investigation determined Wallace was not the victim of a hate crime; the rope had been there since last year.
However, despite there being no evidence that the incident was anything more than a misunderstanding, Trump accused Wallace of participating in a “hoax” and demanded he apologize to NASCAR drivers and officials. Trump also criticized NASCAR’s decision to ban the Confederate flag.
At a packed Fourth of July event at Mount Rushmore, Trump blasted protesters who have torn down and defaced Confederate statues, claiming “this left-wing cultural revolution is designed to overthrow the American Revolution.”
On Monday, Trump also criticized two sports teams that were reviewing names that have long been deemed offensive to Native Americans.
All the while, record-setting spikes in coronavirus cases were recorded around the country. At least 40 states are now battling rising infections and public health experts warn of more deaths as hospitalization numbers surge again.
“Instead of working around the clock on this, visiting hospitals, rallying the troops, rallying the public to wear masks, fight complacency, care for elderly and the sick, this president is simply declaring victory, declaring COVID 99% harmless. Instead of talking about the virus and doing things about it, he’s spending his time trying to distract now with racist and jingoistic talk,” Cooper said. “He’s just leaning full into the racist he’s long been. He’s just letting us see it more clearly now than ever before.”
A HuffPost Guide To Coronavirus
Calling all HuffPost superfans!
Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost’s next chapter