Donald Trump started his Monday morning by doing something that has become a regular habit: live-tweeting Fox News. And this time it got him into international trouble.
Far-right former UKIP leader Nigel Farage appeared on “Fox & Friends,” talking about Britains National Health Service, the network of public hospitals and clinics funded by a consumer tax, which is universal and free to everyone in the U.K.
Immediately after this segment, Trump jumped on Twitter and blasted the program as a failure.
This is about the most misguided, insulting thing Trump could have said. As White House correspondent Andrew Beatty noted, the NHS is about the most popular thing in the U.K.
According to the Commonwealth Fund, British health care outperforms the United States in access, quality, efficiency, and overall outcomes, and Brits are very proud of this. In fact, before becoming president and toeing the GOP line, Trump used to cite the NHSs work in Scotland as a vision of what he thought health care in America should be.
Those protestors Trump mentioned who were taking to the streets in London were actually demanding more resources for the NHS, accusing the Conservative Party of starving the program of funding. The protestors chanted, Saving lives costs money, Saving money costs lives. Not exactly a rallying cry for people who consider universal health care a failed investment.
Trump was predictably scorched for his remarks in Britain. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said, People are marching because we love our NHS and hate what the Tories are doing to it. Healthcare is a human right. Even right-wing papers like The Sun warned Trump was sparking a diplomatic row.
Most awkward of all, even Jeremy Hunt, the Conservative Health secretary the protestors were marching against, hit back against Trump.
I may disagree with claims made on that march but not ONE of them wants to live in a system where 28m people have no cover, Hunt replied to Trumps tweet. NHS may have challenges but Im proud to be from the country that invented universal coverage – where all get care no matter the size of their bank balance.
Trump has said a lot of foolish and embarrassing things. But citing a pro-universal health care rally as proof that universal health care does not work is one for the hall of fame.