The White House press conferences on the coronavirus pandemic should offer an opportunity for the nation’s top health officials to inform the American people on the ongoing struggle against COVID-19, a chance to eschew partisan politics in favor of championing the common good. Instead, they’ve developed into little more than glorified campaign rallies for an administration that has repeatedly demonstrated a complete inability to govern.
While some, like Dr. Fauci, have managed to utilize the pressers to disseminate sober-minded analyses of the government’s response to this crisis, most of the airtime is regularly exploited by Trump to spread misinformation and to pick fights with journalists.
It’s clear that his administration botched its response to this pandemic right out of the gate—notably with the president’s dismissal of the virus as a Democratic “hoax“—and now he is desperate to alter the narrative to paint himself as a competent leader. As is always the case when he decides to rewrite the truth, Trump is attacking the “Fake News Media” with an unhinged fervor, pathetically trying to undermine their legitimate reporting.
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During today’s presser, Trump took aim at CBS’s Paula Reid after she asked about criticisms that hold the White House wasted time that could have been used to better prepare the country for the spread of the virus.
“You’re so disgraceful! It’s so disgraceful the way you say that,” said Trump. “Let me just… Listen. I just went over it. I just went over it,” he said, talking over Reid.
She pushed him to explain what he managed to do with the time that he “bought” by instituting a travel ban.
“You know what we did? You know what we did?” Trump responded, getting increasingly flustered. “What do you do when you have no case in the whole United States?” the president said, launching into an extended effort to excuse his White House’s failure to act quickly enough. When asked specifically what the government got done he answered “a lot” without giving any details.
“Look! You know you’re a fake. You know that. Your whole network the way you cover it is fake,” Trump said, devolving quickly into his usual blame game against the media and the Democratic Party. The entire performance was frankly embarrassing.
The only thing “disgraceful” here is the manner in which Donald Trump has degraded and demeaned the presidency.
Watch the clip below.
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 13, 2020
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This is a staff report from former Occupy Democrats Editor in Chief Colin Taylor or contributor Rob Haffney.