The Palestinian Authority’s official al-Hayat al-Jadida daily published a front-page editorial claiming President Donald Trump may have “fabricated” his COVID19 diagnosis in order to garner sympathy and avoid his upcoming debate with Democratic opponent Joe Biden.
Titled “Trump’s corona – false claims and expectations,” the paper raised the possibility Trump feigned illness “to win sympathy, and to avoid future debates with his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden,” according to a translation by media watchdog Palestinian Media Watch (PMW).
The article backed up its claim by citing a “statistic” published by the Washington Post alleging Trump had made 3,001 false or misleading statements since taking office. It added Trump turned Tuesday’s face off with Biden into the “worst debate in history.”
The Washington Post counted 3,000 [sic] lies by Trump, a thousand of them on coronavirus… so the fabrication of infection remains possible. Perhaps the thing that most reinforces this is the fact that Trump’s infection with the coronavirus was published a few days after his first debate with his Democratic opponent Joe Biden, which Trump turned into the worst debate in history!
The editorial went on to muse that perhaps Trump’s “suffering” will cause him to “reexamine” his “erroneous and aggressive policies towards humanity and its just causes, which he represents while he fuels racist extremist ideas.”
Running alongside the front-page editorial was a statement by senior Palestinian official saying, “President Mahmoud Abbas wishes US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania a speedy and full recovery.”
The editorial concluded thus:
Whether or not the U.S. president has caught coronavirus, we will not analyze this news based on wishful thinking. Coronavirus is a disease that we do not wish for the creatures of Allah wherever they are, and we pray for the speedy recovery of all those infected.
Palestinian Media Watch noted the “wishful thinking” is likely a reference the PA’s expressed hope for a Biden victory, which it believes would reverse Trump’s policies with regards to the Palestinians.
Erekat in September said: “I’m certain that if [Joe] Biden or any other president rises [to power], the first thing that person will do is to declare that the [Trump’s] deal of the century is off the table, because they have issued statements.”
Ramallah cut ties with Washington since Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in December 2017 and subsequently relocated the U.S. embassy there.
The Trump administration also slashed aid to the PA over its so-called pay-for-slay scheme paying terrorists and their families.