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Trump brags he’s #1 on Facebook and talks “Mexican violence” in unhinged virus presser

Trump brags he’s #1 on Facebook and talks “Mexican violence” in unhinged virus presser

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When Donald Trump realized that the daily coronavirus press briefings that he had pawned off to his servile Vice President Mike Pence were beginning to get great ratings, he suddenly decided that he would be the one to lead them each day.

This from a president who prior to the health crisis hadn’t had even his press secretary hold a daily press briefing for months on end.

Yet as Trump became reliant upon the daily televised press conferences to replace his frequent and now impossible-to-hold political rallies, his regular dissemination of overly optimistic misinformation about the disease, the efficacy of untested pharmaceuticals against it, and the length that people will need to continue social distancing and locking themselves in at home have led some major news networks to cease broadcasting the entirety of at least Trump’s portion of the briefings on a live basis to avoid accidentally allowing the president’s unfiltered and unverified information from being transmitted as broadly as the virus itself has been in major hot spots.

With CNN and MSNBC taking a cautious approach to Trump’s deft combination of campaign propaganda sprinkled with a smattering of crucial information from epidemiological experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci, the some of the more discerning public may miss a few of the more contemptible moments that take place in the sparsely populated and carefully spaced White House briefing room.

They may have missed, for instance, the completely irrelevant prologue to the meat of the briefing intended to update the nation on the progress of the federal efforts to fight COVID-19 that instead focused on a very different and currently significantly less important topic.

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Eventually, the press conference got back to the main subject at hand and the president was asked about his unsettling tweet from earlier today threatening Iran with what certainly sounded like a threat of war that had people wondering what the hell he was thinking about.

As it turns out, at least part of that mysterious cipher that is Trump’s mind was thinking about his popularity on Facebook.

At least the president feels that Iran deserves a warning about a potential upcoming disaster, which is more than he felt he should do for the American people while he was downplaying the effects that the pandemic was going to have on their health, both physical and financial.

Trump displayed his lack of concern for human life — other than politically-expedient fetuses — with his response to a question about how undocumented immigrants would survive during the pandemic.

Nothing like certainty to reassure the public!

A few other Twitter commentators pointed out choice moments from the briefing, unfortunately unaccompanied by video clips, but worth noting nonetheless.

As experienced students of the president’s anecdotes and rally claims will tell you, any time Trump quotes some unspecified person as addressing him as “Sir,” you can be pretty sure that this is a story that the president pulled out of his nether regions, just as when he says “nobody knew” indicates that he just learned something for the first time, no matter how obvious it may have been to everyone else.

Apparently, violence on the other side of the border is more interesting for the president than garden variety domestic violence. Surprisingly, the exchange did not trigger a monologue on how much better his slightly modified NAFTA trade agreement — the one that he renamed the USMCA — was than the original deal negotiated during the administration of  President George H.W. Bush.

Eventually, Trump turned the podium over to the nominal head of the Coronavirus Task Force, Vice President Mike Pence, who managed to turn evasiveness while answering one reporter’s question into such an art form that even Trump was impressed with his weaselly ways.

So glad that they’re having such fun up there as the death toll in the United States has surpassed 4,600, exceeding the number of reported deaths in China and placing it only behind Italy and Spain among the nations of the world.

Anyone questioning why those major news outlets no longer see fit to carry Trump’s press briefing appearances on a live basis —  especially now that they have begun to stretch out into 2-hour affairs with many irrelevant detours from the information about the pandemic that the everyone is waiting for — need only watch the clips above to see why the viewers of those networks are not missing anything important except perhaps some unintentional comedy mixed in with the self-serving political propaganda.

If enough people stop watching the live press briefings and the ratings go down, Trump will likely stop attending them and leave it to experts like Dr. Fauci, who remains one of the few credible sources of information about the pandemic still working in the administration, to deliver the straight facts on his own.

Trump only wants to be involved if he can be number one, a position that America itself soon may reach when it comes to fatalities related to the virus, thanks to the president’s early inaction.

Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter

Original reporting by Aaron Rupar at Vox.

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