President Donald Trump appeared to mix up the date of the Spanish Influenza during his coronavirus press conference Friday, saying that America had been “attacked” in 1917.
Trump was responding to a question about what he would say to children, many of whom have been stuck at home while the coronavirus pandemic has forced schools across the country to close temporarily.
EWTN’s Owen Jensen posed the question, noting that kids — his included — have been getting stir-crazy. “Many of them are watching right now. What would you say to the kid, elementary school, high school, what would you tell them?” he asked. (RELATED: Patriots Democratic Primary Round-Up: A Dark Horse In The Wings?)
“I would say you are a citizen of the greatest country anywhere in the world. We were attacked like nothing that’s happened possibly since 1917,” Trump responded. “Many, many years ago. We were attacked. We’re winning the battle and we’re going to win the war. It’s not going to take hopefully that much longer. We have to win the war.”
Trump turned the topic back to the kids then, adding, “I would say that they have a duty to sit back, watch, behave, wash their hands. Stay in the apartment with mom and dad. They look like they are lucky to have you as a father. Just learn from it. The young people have been tremendous. Some of them are very happy not to go to school. You understand that. Perhaps yours, perhaps not,” he smiled.
Trump went on to note that, based on the data collected so far, children appear to be at a lower risk of complications from coronavirus. “The children do very well. It’s almost the younger they are, the better they do. I guess the immune system is sadly, for some of us, their immune system is stronger. I’m very happy about that. They have been attacked. The Spanish flu. If you look at the H1N1, if you look at the swine flu, which was not so long ago, that attacked very strongly young children, kids. Middle age people.”
Critics were quick to note the president’s mix-up, however.
Pres Trump’s message to kids at home: “You are a citizen of the greatest country…We were attacked like nothing that’s happened possibly since 1917. We were attacked & we’re winning the battle & we are going to win the war & it’s not hopefully going to take that much longer.”
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) March 27, 2020
“We were attacked,” the president said, saying it’s like nothing since 1917.
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) March 27, 2020
Trump just said the 1918 flu happened in 1917. It’s right there in the name and he still got it wrong.
— Palmer Report (@PalmerReport) March 27, 2020
Who does Trump think attacked us in 1917? https://t.co/QmGt74mIq8
— Jake Lahut (@JakeLahut) March 27, 2020