After months of no White House press briefings, President Donald Trump is now providing almost daily updates under the guise of giving updates on the global pandemic.
However the focus tends to stray off topic.
Part MAGA rally, part campaign ad, part public meltdown complete with childish name calling, the press briefings often lose sight of their purpose.
On Monday's installment, PBS reporter Yamiche Alcindor asked President Trump:
"I interviewed someone who said that his family got sick. They went to a funeral in mid-March and they said mainly because the president wasn't taking it seriously enough."
"He said if the president had had a mask on, if he was saying we should stay home, then I would've stayed home."
Trump attempted to interrupt, but the Alcindor continued:
"He said his family members were sick because they were listening to you... Are you concerned that downplaying the virus maybe got some people sick?"
Unfazed, Trump responded:
"Yeah. And a lot of people love Trump, right?"
"A lot of people love me. You see them all the time."
"I guess I'm here for a reason. To the best of my knowledge, I won."
"And I think we're going to win again. I think we're going to win in a landslide."
Trump: "A lot of people love me." "I guess I'm here for a reason, you know? To the best of my knowledge, I won."— Daniel Dale (@Daniel Dale)1587423971.0
You can see the exchange here:
Reporter to Trump: "Are you concerned that downplaying the virus maybe got some people sick?” Pres. Trump begins h… https://t.co/gFH4HlueJA— CBS News (@CBS News)1587424846.0
Always a woman reporter, usually a woman reporter of color – why is that??? https://t.co/aIngC3pgKC— New Civil Rights (@New Civil Rights)1587425917.0
Trump then reiterated he closed US borders to China in January. However epidemiologists found the majority of cases in the USA came from Europe, not Asia.
As late as February 28, the President was still calling the global pandemic a hoax perpetrated by the Democratic Party to hurt his reelection chances.
Trump once again dodging questions about his statements and actions in order to praise himself was unsurprising.
The similarities between Idi Amin Dada Oumee & Donald Trump 😅😅 1. I'm very rich! 2. I'm popular! 3. People love me!… https://t.co/iTXNBa6Sto— Nyandeng A Garang🇸🇸🇰🇪🇨🇦 #NotYourVP_Junubin🇸 (@Nyandeng A Garang🇸🇸🇰🇪🇨🇦 #NotYourVP_Junubin🇸)1587406989.0
Trumps stock answer when the Press asks him a question he has no idea how to answer. “People love me” #LastWord— Mo Latno Bill Phelan (@Mo Latno Bill Phelan)1587435487.0
@briantylercohen @morgfair @Yamiche Me: My family member is dead! Trump: People love me. I won. I will win again!… https://t.co/UvPiYi3ofE— 🏳️🌈 Lee 🏳️🌈 (@🏳️🌈 Lee 🏳️🌈)1587432852.0
They pretty much all go like that now, evaded, ducked, dodged, anythg to avoid answering. You should see what he an… https://t.co/MOTL0r2yPc— Scarlet 2021 🔥🔥 (@Scarlet 2021 🔥🔥)1587468605.0
Questions: Did you hurt people, do you feel bad, can you take responsibility, can you show empathy? Answers: Me.… https://t.co/0zPTYrdg22— Mike Signer (@Mike Signer)1587425879.0
@kathrynw5 @Yamiche Maybe those people should have a conversation with Trump. "You still love me, right? Right?" https://t.co/ScVk1dr20W— Spocko (@Spocko)1587424192.0
@Yamiche Forget Babyface, kudos on your poker face when Trump said "A lot of people love me. I won" to your reason… https://t.co/KFR39hvZAV— Al Swearengen (@Al Swearengen)1587435095.0
The World Health Organization declared a global pandemic on January 30, 2020. At the time, the United States had 5 confirmed cases.
As of Wednesday, April 22, the United States leads the world in confirmed cases of the viral pathogen with 826,240. The United States accounts for over 32 percent of all cases worldwide.
The death toll in the USA is 45,373, about 25 percent of all deaths worldwide. The United States may be first in confirmed cases and deaths, but it ranks a distant 3rd in population at 331,002,651 people, with over a billion fewer people than both China at 1,439,323,776 and India at 1,380,004,385.
The book The Pandemic Century: One Hundred Years of Panic, Hysteria, and Hubris is available here.