President Donald Trump may not be holding campaign rallies any time soon but he's found a new – and free – venue to address the American people even more frequently: the podium of the once-dormant White House press briefing room.
Trump realized his vice president was making good use of that room, holding daily coronavirus task force briefings, and the President quickly co-opted those short reports to the press, extending them into hours-long symphonies of false promises, blame, lies, and self-congratulation.
Thursday's coronavirus task force briefing was attended by few task force members. At one briefing there were 17 officials huddled on stage. Thursday, just four. It wasn't to observe social distancing – they were all still standing too close together.
The President took many questions, his answers once again spooking the markets. The DOW went from up around 400 points, approaching close to flat as Trump droned on and on, filling the room with falsehoods while again telegraphing to Wall Street what little grasp of the crisis he has. Once the press conference ended the market gained some ground.
Trump repeatedly blamed state governors for the federal government's inability to provide respirators and ventilators – but then bragged that he's getting cruise ships to come to harbors to be used as medical facilities.
TRUMP passes the buck: "Governors are supposed to be doing a lot of this work ... the federal government is not sup… https://t.co/9w0BUeFEbw— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar)1584634420.0
Trump is now blaming ventilator shortages on state governments https://t.co/fgaX6qCqdE— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar)1584635037.0
Trump said – falsely – that his administration was "very prepared," and then wrongly blamed "the media" for being unfair.
TRUMP on criticism that coronavirus testing problems indicate he wasn't prepared: "We were very prepared. The only… https://t.co/3DMpmLMrg5— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar)1584634945.0
And he offered false hope instead of facts, which helps no one. Americans will not be getting "back to normal" any time soon. Many may never see "normal" again.
Trump on when Americans get expect their lives to get back to normal: "I hope very soon ... could have been stopped… https://t.co/zLeDC9X347— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar)1584634894.0
Perhaps worse of all, Trump delivered tremendous false hope, and he touted several old drugs, one used for malaria, as possible treatments for coronavirus. He appeared to suggest the FDA has already approved them for treatment of COVID-19, which it has not. There are some tests, but nothing that definitively says they are effective against the virus. The FDA has started testing and is allowing "compassionate use" of the drugs when asked by doctors.
President Trump says the FDA is fast-tracking anti-viral treatments for patients with coronavirus: "There's tremend… https://t.co/pYrqqN3Cwa— CBS News (@CBS News)1584632933.0
Photo: Donald Trump (Screen Capture)