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The metaphors that Trump and others use when talking about COVID-19 are making the pandemic worse.

Silhouetted person lifting weights that have coronavirus molecules on the ends rather than weights.
Silhouetted person lifting weights that have coronavirus molecules on the ends rather than weights.
Photo illustration: The Atlantic; sources: Getty Images/Shutterstock

On Monday, as President Donald Trump left Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Senator Kelly Loeffler of Georgia tweeted a doctored clip of the president tackling and punching the wrestler and WWE CEO Vince McMahon. In the edited version, McMahon’s face has been replaced with a picture of a virus. “COVID stood NO chance against @realDonaldTrump!” Loeffler wrote.

Similar sentiments, trumpeting Trump’s strength and fighting spirit, have poured forth since he tested positive for COVID-19. …

About

Ed Yong

Science writer at The Atlantic. Author of I CONTAIN MULTITUDES, a New York Times bestseller on animal-microbe partnerships. https://edyong.me/

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