The Atlantic

Trump’s Dangerously Effective Coronavirus Propaganda

The president’s effort to play down the pandemic is being amplified by a coalition of partisan media, digital propagandists, and White House officials.
Source: Samuel Corum / Stringer / Getty / The Atlantic

From the moment the coronavirus reached the United States, President Donald Trump has seemed determined to construct an alternate reality around the outbreak. In the information universe he has formed, COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, is no worse than the seasonal flu; criticism of his response to it is a “hoax”; and media coverage of the virus is part of a political conspiracy to destroy his presidency.

As with so much of the president’s messaging, this narrative began with tossed-off tweets and impromptu public statements. But in recent days, as U.S. health officials have raised growing concerns about the outbreak, Trump’s efforts to play down the pandemic have been

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