- In what appeared to be failed remarks, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Friday that the White House was working to spread the coronavirus.
- “We are working on mass distribution of the virus,” Mnuchin said on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street”.
- Presumably, Mnuchin meant that the White House is working on mass distribution of a vaccine.
- But people on Twitter are announcing his failed remarks as a way to characterize the US response to the coronavirus pandemic.
- Visit the Business Insider homepage for more stories.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin missed his remarks in an interview on Friday, saying the White House was working to spread the coronavirus.
Mnuchin, appearing on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street,” presumably meant that the White House is working on a vaccine.
CNBC’s David Faber warned that “the next few weeks could be really ugly,” according to a transcript of the conversation with Mnuchin.
“Well, we hope it doesn’t and you know once again that we are working on the mass distribution of the virus,” Mnuchin replied.
—The recount (@therecount) November 20, 2020
Earlier in the interview, Mnuchin said the White House was working to achieve “mass distribution of the vaccine.”
“We have two companies that have vaccines that have been approved, we have more in the works,” he said. “We are going to have a massive distribution of vaccines. We have a massive amount of testing, we have tests ready that can be done now in 15, 20 minutes with very, very high certainty. ”
Mnuchin’s flub, however, did not go unnoticed.
The Huffington Post noted that several people had started circulating his quote, treating it as fact and suggesting it was accurate based on the US response to the coronavirus.
“Yeah man, we noticed,” replied Oliver Willis, a gradual exit writer for the American Independent.
—Oliver Willis (@owillis) November 20, 2020
—Rob Szczerba (@RJSzczerba) November 20, 2020
—Pedro Nicolaci da Costa (@pdacosta) November 20, 2020
Twitter clapbacks echoed the poor marks given to the White House for its handling of the disease.
About 46% of respondents to an Axios-Ipsos poll conducted last month said the US response to the pandemic had worsened. Only 26% said the opposite.
The coronavirus has infected more than 11.9 million Americans, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Of that total, more than 254,000 people have died from the disease.
The Treasury Department did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment regarding Mnuchin’s flub.