Donald Trump, who many have said is the greatest history teacher of all time, gave Tucker Carlson a lesson about the building of the Panama Canal last night, which he called the "9th wonder of the world" and the "7th wonder of the world."
Here's what he told Carlson (video below):
So we built a thing called the Panama Canal. We lost 35,000 people to the mosquito. We lost 35,000 people building. We lost 35,000 people because of the mosquito. Vicious. They had to build under nets. It was one of the true great wonders of the world, as he said, "one of the nine wonders of the world." That was one of the seven. It happened a little while ago, you know, nine wonders of the world. You could make nine wonders. He would have been better off if he stuck with a nine and just said, "Yeah, I think it's not the true seven wonders of the world." And you take a look at a such an incredible engineering marvel. We sold it under Jimmy Carter.
The most surprising part of this is that Trump isn't lying, which makes it noteworthy.
It's true that around tens of thousands of workers (5,600 Americans, 22,000 French) died during the construction of the Panama Canal. The vast majority of deaths were due to tropical diseases carried by mosquitoes, especially malaria and yellow fever. Building under mosquito nets was one method used to help protect workers from diseases.
The Panama Canal is often cited as one of the great engineering marvels of the modern world, though it's not literally one of the original Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Referring to it as one of the "nine wonders of the world" is imprecise but gets the point across about its impressive scale and innovative design.
The Panama Canal Zone was transferred from U.S. control to Panama in 1999 as part of an agreement during the Carter administration. So the statement about it being "sold under Jimmy Carter" is accurate in referring to the change in ownership at that time.
One might wonder how different the world would have been if Trump had decided to become a history teacher instead of becoming a failed dictator with almost 100 criminal charges hanging over his head.