James O'Brien's reaction to President Trump testing positive for coronavirus

2 October 2020, 13:19 | Updated: 2 October 2020, 15:11

James O'Brien's reaction to Trump contracting coronavirus

By Fiona Jones

This was James O'Brien's reaction after Donald Trump confirmed he and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for Covid-19.

The US President said he and the First Lady would begin their "quarantine and recovery process immediately" following the diagnosis.

At 74, Trump is at higher risk of serious complications from the virus, although a statement from the White House said both he and the First Lady are "well at this time".

James O'Brien observed that before this morning's papers had this new knowledge, a Cornell University study analysed 38 million articles and found that Donald Trump is the single largest driver of misinformation about coronavirus.

LIVE: Donald Trump develops 'mild' Covid-19 symptoms, says White House

Donald Trump has "consciously misled the world about the dangers or even the existence of this virus" and now he has contracted it, James said, and clarified that while he would never wish ill of anyone, there is a sense of "Schadenfreude" that can be found.

US reporter gives Nick Ferrari the latest on Donald Trump getting Covid-19

James branded it "shocking but not surprising" because it is "simply the latest stage in a succession of utterly subversive attitudes to our values."

"So the man in charge of the most powerful country in the world has done more than anybody else on this planet to spread misinformation about the coronavirus," James said, "even leaving aside the self-confessed sex offences, the massive racism, the support for white supremacism...that single fact there is arguably the biggest and most significant."

James reflected that for the UK, "we're cursed in this country with a leader who has been weak and incompetent, dishonest and disreputable but I don't think anybody, even his harshest critics could accuse Boris Johnson of actually spreading misinformation about this virus."

He reflected that putting the possibility of herd immunity into the public ether back in March was "deeply irresponsible and dangerous, but it wasn't misinformation just misdirection."

In tribal, binary politics, James reflected, if you liked Trump you will still like him today despite him spreading misinformation about the virus he has caught.

"The most egregious offender on this planet...who has done more to drive misinformation about a fatal pandemic is the most powerful man on the planet."

James continued that when historians look back they will see these milestones and "marvel" at them, and not be able to make sense of it.

"You will conclude that we must have been bewitched, we must have been hypnotised as a population, we must have been almost a different species," James said.

He reflected that at 28, his date of birth was further away than his date of birth was to the Holocaust was from his date of birth and he still thought of it as "something awful that was done by people that were nothing like you and me."

"The death toll for coronavirus now dwarfs most wars, if not every war, and when historians of the future come to unpick how it was handled so appallingly, this single fact here might be the biggest," James said, yet, President Trump has still been the single largest driver of misinformation according to a study.

"He was allowed to get away with it because people who were given a license to be racist, bigoted, hate-filled in public after years of being made to feel ashamed about their own secret hearts, people who were given license to be disgusting would forgive him anything even as their own families die," he said.

More James O'Brien

See more More James O'Brien

Sacked borders watchdog David Neal said the Home Office is 'dysfunctional' and needs reform.

'It goes to the very top': Sacked border watchdog slams Home Office and calls for reform after Cleverly row

Shahd Waleed is trying to leave Rafah with her parents and enter Egypt

'They want us to experience pain': Young woman trapped in Rafah with her parents tells of terror as Israel invasion looms

Sir Keir Starmer has defended comments he made about Margaret Thatcher earlier this month.

Starmer defends Thatcher comments as he says he ‘completely disagrees’ with former prime minister’s politics

A caller to James O’Brien’s programme has shared footage of the extraordinary destruction done to his newly purchased property just outside of Durham.

Property investor's shock at 'unexplainable level of damage' he discovered after buying new home

James Cleverly replaced Suella Braverman as home secretary on Monday

'I've spent more time with James Cleverly this week than with Suella Braverman in the last year', Sadiq Khan tells LBC

James O'Brien discusses Suella Braverman's 'destructionist' leadership style with a caller

'She's a destructionist': James O'Brien caller claims Suella Braverman governs like 'a five-year-old'

James O'Brien

'She definitely has something on him': Caller and James O'Brien debate why the PM hasn't sacked Suella Braverman yet

'A complete reset of the top' is needed says caller.

'We're being let down': There is a 'complete disconnection' between parliamentary and local Conservatives says caller

James O'Brien

'It's essential that people are able to protest peacefully against war', says James O'Brien

James O'Brien

Rishi Sunak 'almost physically moves away' from Suella Braverman in House of Commons debate, says James O'Brien

James O'Brien

'Suella Braverman succeeded - she's caused hate', claims caller after Home Secretary criticises pro-Palestine marches

'A fish rots from the head': James O'Brien caller reacts to claims of misogyny in Downing Street during Covid Inquiry

'A fish rots from the head': James O'Brien caller reacts to claims of misogyny in Downing Street during Covid Inquiry

'Ludicrous, bogus, nonsense': James O'Brien is astounded by Boris Johnson 'laughing at Italy' during the pandemic

'Ludicrous, bogus, nonsense': James O'Brien is astounded by Boris Johnson 'laughing at Italy' during the pandemic

James O'Brien on Dagestan

'It's a hatred as old as religion itself': James O'Brien analyses escalating anti-Semitism after Muslim crowd storms Dagestan airport

Carol Vorderman shocked about UK Poverty

'One million children are living in destitution': Carol Vorderman struggles to comprehend stark wealth inequality in the UK

Wes Streeting on dentistry

Wes Streeting invites the government to steal Labour's policy to solve 'dickensian' NHS dentist crisis

James O'Brien

'I think they're the loneliest voters in Britain', James O'Brien claims after Tories' double by-election defeat

JOB and caller Andy

Biden's visit to Israel is to show that the US stands 'unequivocally' with Israel says James O'Brien caller

JOB and Usman

Israel's current response will only 'strengthen' Hamas by rearing Gazans who seek revenge warns this James O'Brien caller

JOB on deaths in conflict

James O'Brien unpacks the 'controversial' feeling of being 'equally devastated' by Palestinian and Israeli deaths

JOB on starmer speech

Keir Starmer is using 'working class as the opposite of having a sense of entitlement', notes James O'Brien

JOB on HS2 promises

James O'Brien criticises Rishi Sunak's watering down of 'illustrative' Network North projects funded by HS2 cut

Sadiq Khan and James O'Brien

Sadiq Khan declares there is 'no place for anti-Semitism' in London as kosher restaurant in Golders Green attacked

James O'Brien on the challenge HS2 scrappage poses to Labour.

‘How much can Rishi Sunak knock down before Keir Starmer becomes Prime Minister?, asks James O’Brien

James O'Brien

Rishi Sunak is like an 'incontinent cat': James O'Brien slams Tories ahead of PM's Party Conference speech

JoB and Jeremy Hunt

Navy veteran deeply hurt by Jeremy Hunt's plans to clamp down on benefit claimants

James O'Brien on Tory tactics in the upcoming election.

Tories desperately seeking wedge issues is the 'only way' they will retain power in 2024, says James O'Brien

James and caller Mervin on knife crime

'I'd prefer you to go to jail than die': James O'Brien is left aghast by this caller's father's stance on knife possession

James O'Brien

James O'Brien ridicules those prioritising Labour's private school VAT plans over the cost of living crisis

James O'Brien

'I mean this is a novel': James O'Brien hears why this caller blames Labour for HS2 problems

James O'Brien

James O'Brien takes aim at uninformed 'idiots' criticising Keir Starmer for not wanting to diverge from EU rules

JOB on Rishi Sunak Bins

Rishi 'seven-bin' Sunak is lifting bans that 'don't exist', asserts James O'Brien