White House morale 'bottomed out' after aides realized Trump's address to the nation made things worse: report

According to a report from Politico, the White House had hoped that Donald Trump's address to the nation last Wednesday night regarding the coronavirus pandemic would calm the rising panic in the U.S. and were dismayed when it made things worse and the stock market suffered a huge loss the next morning.


The report from Gabby Orr and Nancy Cook notes, "In the span of 48 hours this week, from the moment markets plunged after a confusing and stiff Oval Office address to his national emergency declaration from the Rose Garden, Trump watched his own assessment of the viral outbreak transform in extraordinary fashion, forcing him into a course correction."

The report goes on to state that morale at the White House "bottomed out" after the speech, forcing Trump staffers to scramble to put together the president's Rose Garden speech on Friday where he declared a national emergency -- giving the markets what could prove to be a temporary boost.

"The crushing response on Thursday prompted the White House to schedule Friday’s press conference in the Rose Garden, a favorite venue of the president thanks to its natural lighting and the more free-wheeling format of a back-and-forth press conference, according to two White House officials familiar with the matter," the report states.

"For Trump himself, the journey appeared to represent a recognition that his earlier path threatened to engulf a nation he oversees with a spreading pandemic and diminish hope for reelection this fall," the report adds. "Trump’s do-over approach — he unlocked $50 billion in government funding on Friday to address the growing crisis and threw his support behind House Democrats’ aid package hours later — followed weeks of the president shrugging off the coronavirus threat and making statements about the availability of tests, the severity of the virus and the development of a COVID-19 vaccine that his own officials had to correct, sometimes within minutes of being made."

According to Trump booster Newt Gingrich, "They reached the conclusion this week that they had to communicate a sense of seriousness about what was going on and had to reassure the country that they were taking it very seriously."

That said, Trump's Friday speech was not without problems as the report points out that the president's claim about support from Google was nowhere near what was being sold to the public.

"Representatives from Google said they were caught off guard on Friday when Trump said the tech company was 'helping to develop a website … to determine whether a test is warranted and to facilitate testing at a nearby convenient location' for Americans who suspect they may have contracted the coronavirus. In a statement shared on Twitter from Verily, a subsidiary of Google, the company said it is still 'developing a tool to help triage individuals for COVID-19 testing' that would initially only be available in the San Francisco Bay Area," the Politico report notes.

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