Derided as  ‘Infomercials,’ Trump’s Coronavirus Briefings: ‘People Are Dying Because of His Foolishness’

Derided as ‘Infomercials,’ Trump’s Coronavirus Briefings: ‘People Are Dying Because of His Foolishness’


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Janet Ybarra
Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press

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Unable to go forth on to the hustings for the mass rallies he loves because of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, Donald Trump made due with his role in the daily White House pandemic briefings.

Unfortunately, not only has Trump continued to impart inaccurate information from the presidential podium, he’s used the sessions to go off-topic, bloviating about various grievances and other matters.

It’s not gone unnoticed.

“I think these briefings are really infomercials more than briefings. He is constantly selling his own reaction to the crisis in the face of facts,” said noted author and historian Jon Meacham. “And I think that ultimately what you’re seeing with the numbers is Americans at some intuitive level understanding that the president is selling them, he’s not protecting them. I think one of the things he’s got to figure out politically here is this is a virus, the virus can’t be bullied.” 

There have been more than 1.9 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide. The virus has killed more than 119,000. 

In the United States, there have been 591,064 reported cases including 24,600 deaths, according to the most recent figures.

Baltimore Sun media critic David Zurawik excoriated Trump for using the coronavirus briefings to shift blame away from himself while health providers are risking their lives to treat those infected by the virus.

“Health workers are risking their lives daily. And to see him come out there and for 90 minutes, in two hours, sometimes, doing exactly what you said — he’s spinning a narrative, and the narrative is: ‘I didn’t do anything wrong. I was ahead of everybody. I was great! The federal government’s doing great work.’ And it’s an outrageous lie,” Zurawik told an interviewer during a segment on TV. “But what’s worse is every minute he spends doing that, he is not getting respirators to hospitals, he’s not helping the states out with the kind of [personal protective equipment] they need. People are dying because of his foolishness. It’s really foolishness at this point.”

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