US President Donald Trump has gone viral again – this time for his bungled pronunciation of the word “Yosemite” at a White House event.
Mr Trump twice tripped over the name of one of America’s most famous national parks at a signing ceremony for a major piece of conservation legislation on Tuesday (local time).
“When young Americans experience the breathtaking beauty of the Grand Canyon, when their eyes widen in amazement as Old Faithful bursts into the sky, when they gaze upon Yosemite’s – Yosemite’s towering sequoias, their love of country grows stronger and they know that every American has truly a duty to preserve this wondrous inheritance,” Mr Trump said.
But instead of “Yoh-sem-it-ee”, he went for “YO-se-MIGHT”. Then, perhaps realising that wasn’t quite right, he added a syllable: “YO-se-min-NIGHT”.
The official White House transcript released after the event even noted the error with the misspelling, “Yoseminite’s [sic]”.
Social media users and Mr Trump’s political opponents were quick to pick up on the mistake.
The Lincoln Project, an anti-Trump Republican lobby group was among the first. It took to Twitter to ponder why the President could pronounce the name of hydroxychloroquine – a controversial coronavirus treatment – but not Yosemite.
Sales of the drug hydroxychloroquine spiked after Mr Trump and other high-profile figures touted it as a COVID-19 treatment.
The social media pile-on came just hours after footage of Mr Trump in a feisty exchange about the pandemic with Australian journalist Jonathan Swan was revealed.
Mr Trump contended, broadcast on HBO, that the US actually had the “lowest” numbers in the world in a number of categories, even as it has registered about 150,000 deaths, more than any other nation by far.
Swan, the son of ABC journalist Dr Norman Swan, repeatedly tried to bring the conversation back to “death as a proportion of population”, which he said showed the US was facing serious problems.
“You can’t do that,” Mr Trump pushed back, pulling out papers printed with coloured bar graphs.
The President preferred to focus on deaths relative to caseloads, which helps sidestep the issue that the US has a massive number of infections.
“You are not reporting it correctly,” he insisted, as he pushed his theory that the US conducts many tests, thereby leading to a larger caseload. His own experts have contradicted him on this as well.
The US’s raw death figures dropped in recent months, but they have since shot back up. Recent weeks have included a sustained period where each day brought more than 1000 new fatalities.