The potential impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on populist governments has been the subject of a heated debate among specialists. There are scholars for who the pandemic will negatively impact populist governments. Here, populist governments are perceived as ill-equipped to respond to the multifaced challenges risen by the complexity of the pandemic. Conversely, many scholars that argue that the pandemic will strengthen populist governments because populism flourishes during crises. This article contests these two narratives. It asserts that any evaluation of the impact of the pandemic on populist governments should distinguish between their actions and their discourse. Thus, the study undertakes an analysis of US president Trump’s discourse, demonstrating that during the first year of the pandemic, it is twofold. First appears a “disconnected discourse” that continuously questions the reality of the pandemic, despite the important proactive actions taken by his government to mitigate the pandemic's economic, social, and sanitary impacts. Second, a “demonstrative discourse” arises, in which the pandemic was instrumentalized to enhance the legitimacy of one of the most important and controversial elements of the populist discourse: the idea of external threat.