Trump's briefing about plasma as a miracle treatment for COVID-19 is about the GOP convention: CNN analyst
President Donald J. Trump displays the Abbott Laboratories 15-minute COVID-19 testing device during a coronavirus (COVID-19) update briefing Monday, March 30, 2020, in the Rose Garden at the White House. (Official White House Photo by D. Myles Cullen)

Speaking to CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Sunday in the wake of President Donald Trump's abrupt press conference, CNN columnist and commentator Chris Cillizza speculated that the only reason convalescent plasma was being rushed to approval was to tease the Republican convention.


"Before I heard [Dr.] Sanjay [Gupta] and the other experts, it struck me as a major coincidence that we have a major breakthrough Sunday night, and the convention begins Monday night," said Cillizza. "There are no coincidences like that in politics, and I think what Donald Trump needs in the next four days to change the narrative. This election is about one thing, the coronavirus and his handling of it. A strong majority of the American public believes he is not handling it well. How do you solve that problem with you're Donald Trump? You get a treatment or a vaccine to people sooner they expect that's effective."

He noted that Trump's problem is that doctors have talked about plasma testing and not being sure about it as they wait for more tests and data.

"I think we'll go through the same thing with the vaccine, particularly if it comes up anywhere near November 3rd, Election Day or close to it," he continued. "Donald Trump making promises about what it can do and doubts about it, and whether it works. This is not coincidental. It is on purpose. This is Donald Trump trying to seed a narrative that he's solving a problem that the American public doesn't believe he has his arms around or an idea of how to solve."

When the FDA announced that they needed more data and that it would not be approving the plasma for use, Trump attacked them, saying that it was all because the "deep state" was working against him. It took less than four days before the plasma was then suspiciously approved.

"Let me just make a note for people who have questions about this," explained Cillizza. "Remember the deep state that Donald Trump alleged in the Justice Department that was run by his Attorney General Jeff Sessions? [Dr] Steve Hahn is the appointee of Donald Trump. Barack Obama didn't make these appointments. These are people he put in there. Unless it's so deep that they fooled him. He picked them, this is all -- it breaks down like a lot of Donald Trump's conspiracy theories, breaks down with a scintilla of digging."

Cillizza claimed that Trump is playing politics again and that the most important thing is that the majority of the American people don't think he's doing a good job handling the pandemic. So, he's got mere months to change their minds.

"The only way to change that narrative is to shift the blame that this is about politics or find a way to a vaccine or a treatment that is effective," said Cillizza. "Donald Trump's not a scientist, and he's not going to be able to come up with a vaccine. He is not going to be able to prove in a sound way that convalescent plasma is the right way to go in the same way that him talking about hydroxychloroquine 1,000 times doesn't make it true. He has a limited number of tools in his arsenal. This is within one of them. Listen to the doctors you had on saying, 'Maybe this works, makes sense that it might work, but we don't know yet.' And why are we announcing something before we're certain of it? Because the Republican convention starts tomorrow, and he needs some good news. There's a direct correlation."

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