Trump COVID Hoax Conspiracy Theories Ignite Among President's Critics

President Donald Trump has announced he and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday, along with Counselor to the President Hope Hicks.

The Trumps are now self-isolating at the White House but some critics of the president found his diagnosis highly suspect. Skeptics took to social to argue—without evidence—that the positive test was a hoax.

Bestselling crime and mystery author Don Winslow took to Twitter to air his doubts about the president's diagnosis. Winslow was just one of many users, some with verified blue ticks, to claim the timing of the announcement was too convenient for Trump to be a coincidence.

"I will just say this," Winslow wrote. "The timing of Trump's positive test is very interesting and solves a number of immediate problems for him."

Winslow later tagged Trump in a tweet and repeated his doubts that the president actually had COVID-19.

"Dear@realDonaldTrump," he said. "Assuming it's true you have tested positive (after all you have lied over 20,000 times since becoming President and so have your wife and doctors) but assuming it is true WHY is it now COVID-19? You have ALWAYS called it the China Virus? What changed?"

The Washington Post reported in June that Trump had made 20,000 false or misleading statements since taking office on January 20, 2017. The newspaper's fact-checkers said: "The tsunami of untruths just keeps looming larger and larger."

Author and journalist David Simon joined those questioning Trump's diagnosis, also pointing to the president's record of misleading statements. Like several other social media users, Simon framed the supposed hoax as a political ploy.

"Honestly, when a man lies so damn much, am I wrong to imagine another cry of wolf for an October surprise?" Simon wrote. "That Trump is claiming a positive test, will present as asymptomatic, or claim himself cured with bleach, then dismiss COVID again as a Democratic hoax? I'm wrong, right?"

Honestly, when a man lies so damn much, am I wrong to imagine another cry of wolf for an October surprise? That Trump is claiming a positive test, will present as asymptomatic, or claim himself cured with bleach, then dismiss COVID again as a Democratic hoax? I'm wrong, right?

— David Simon (@AoDespair) October 2, 2020

Award-winning comedian Loni Love simply tweeted: "Trump is trying to avoid the next debate." This sentiment was shared by some other Twitter users, some pointing to Tuesday's first presidential debate with former Vice President Joe Biden, which critics called a "disgrace."

One Twitter user called for the doctor who diagnosed the Trumps to testify under oath, while others claimed the president was pretending to have the virus so he could appear to beat it and be a hero to his supporters. Trump's physician Dr. Sean Conley has issued a lengthy statement confirming the president has COVID-19.

There is no evidence that Trump is lying about his COVID-19 diagnosis. He and the first lady are in isolation, a situation that will affect his ability to campaign just 32 days before the presidential election.

Trump Speaks On Way to Marine One
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters on his way to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House on September 30, 2020 in Washington, DC. President Trump is traveling to Minnesota for a fundraising event and a campaign rally. Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis has prompted claims of a hoax. Drew Angerer/Getty Images