Donald Trump, the man who loves to mock people for not knowing things that he barely understands himself, once again demonstrated his uncanny ability to correct people needlessly during NBC's highly anticipated Commander-in-Chief Forum.
Rachel Fredericks, who served in the Marine Corps as an aviation operations specialist from 2008 to 2010, took the mic to ask the GOP nominee what he was going to do to stop veterans from killing themselves. She has lost two friends to suicide and has post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
“Mr. Trump, I wanted to ask what your plan will be to stop 20 veterans a day from killing themselves,” Fredericks inquired during the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America Forum on Wednesday.
“Actually, it's 22,” the know-it-all billionaire replied.
Ironically, he was mistaken. The veteran had in fact cited the correct statistics: "Twenty military veterans commit suicide every day in the U.S., according to the Department of Veterans Affairs,” wrote The Wall Street Journal earlier this year.
“It’s almost impossible to conceive that this is happening in our country,” Trump continued as Fredericks grimaced and shook her head along with a man seated behind her.
The business mogul explained that veterans are “killing themselves over the fact that they’re in tremendous pain and they can’t see a doctor.”
“We’re going to speed up the process,” he added. “We’re going to create a great mental health division. They need help. They need help. They need tremendous help, and we’re doing nothing for them. The VA is really, almost, you could say, a corrupt enterprise... We are going to make it efficient and good. And if it’s not good, you’re out going to private hospitals, public hospitals and doctors.”
Previously, the Veteran Affairs estimated 22 veteran suicides a day, though veterans groups, health care experts and the department itself largely disputed the now outdated figure. A new attempt at a viral internet sensation, the 22-pushup challenge, launched to bring awareness to the daily scourge of veteran suicides.