As stateside coronavirus cases continued to spike Friday, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton landed in hot water on social media over a controversial joke made at President Donald Trump’s expense.
According to Johns Hopkins data, the United States overtook Italy just one day prior as the global leader in confirmed cases, reporting roughly 81,321 at the time amid increased testing efforts — a development which reinvigorated citizen and media concern surrounding the pandemic.
“He did promise ‘America First,'” Clinton wrote on Twitter, linking to a breaking New York Times report on the pandemic statistics.
He did promise “America First.” https://t.co/bzks3hqCUE
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) March 27, 2020
It was not the first time Clinton seemed to have a laugh at Trump’s expense regarding the ongoing viral outbreak.
Clinton’s Twitter account saw a dramatic increase in activity as the virus began to spread on a global scale throughout late February and early March, coming to a head this last week as presidential addresses regarding the pandemic became daily occurrences.
“Please do not take medical advice from a man who looked directly at a solar eclipse,” Clinton told Twitter followers Tuesday.
None of the former secretary of state’s previous commentary had received the response prompted by her Friday remark, however, which left a variety of prominent conservative personalities and users far from amused.
“This is some low bulls— … even for you,” comedian and political commentator Tim Young commented on the original tweet.
This is some low bullshit… even for you.
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) March 27, 2020
Human Events editor Ian Miles Cheong responded similarly, referring to the joke as “beyond the pale.”
Others were far more cutting in their replies, berating Clinton for a career laden with political scandal and suggesting ill-timed jokes such as the one made Friday had only added to the relatability issues that plagued her failed 2008 and 2016 presidential campaigns.
Not the first time you’ve laughed as Americans died
— Jack Posobiec (@JackPosobiec) March 27, 2020
“This is why you aren’t president and he is,” right-wing political strategist Caleb Hull wrote on Twitter.
“Was it America first in Benghazi?” podcast host Joey Saladino wrote. “So glad you are NOT President!”
“I literally called out this misinformation yesterday,” he added, pointing to previous arguments against using total virus cases as the sole or primary metric in measuring national response to the pandemic.
Was it America first in Benghazi?
So glad you are NOT President!
— Joey Saladino (@JoeySalads) March 27, 2020
Medical experts had previously warned about the potential for a dramatic spike in confirmed coronavirus cases across the United States, as testing kits became more widely available due to expedited legislative efforts made on a bipartisan basis by Congress in recent weeks, according to U.S. News & World Report.
The cases, many such experts argued, were baked into the cake by now, confirming previously known cases rather than uncovering new ones.
As the third most populous nation in the world, America’s now-100,717 cases are also far more spread out than those in smaller nations like Italy, Spain and Germany.
Reporting the second-most cases globally at roughly 86,000 confirmed, Italy maintains a population roughly five times smaller than that of the U.S. and is more than six times as densely populated, according to the United Nations-powered IndexMundi.
Virus-related deaths within the U.S. pale in comparison to those in Italy and Spain, which reported 9,134 and 4,940, respectively on Friday afternoon.
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