In Latest Briefing, Trump Is Divorced From Reality
March 25, 2020
At his press briefing today, Trump lied about his failed response to the coronavirus crisis, lashed out at reporters, and continued to contradict public health experts.
SPINNING HIS FAILURES:
Trump praised his failed response to the crisis, despite a growing number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and a supply shortage in the hardest-hit parts of the country.
TRUMP: “It’s hard not to be happy with the job we’re doing, that I can tell you.”
Los Angeles Times’s Jackie Calmes: “Trump’s self-congratulation today is as fulsome as any previous day, even as deaths approach 1,000. Tomorrow will be one month since he said US had 15 cases & would soon be down to zero.”
Washington Post’s Josh Dawsey: “Trump says ‘it’s hard not to be happy with the job we’re doing’ and that Cuomo is happy with the 4,000 ventilators the U.S. government sent New York. Cuomo has repeatedly said that is far short of what the state needs and that the government must send far more.”
Trump suggested the United States has a better testing program than any other country — including South Korea, which has a far higher testing rate than we do.
TRUMP: “We’re also doing some very large testings throughout the country.”
TRUMP: “We have now tested, with the best test, far more than anybody else. … No country is even close.”
National Public Radio’s Bobby Allyn: “It’s become a chorus of the president, but it is provably false. South Korea’s testing rate is more than 6x America’s rate.”
National Public Radio: “President Trump touted that the U.S. has surpassed South Korea in the total number of coronavirus tests conducted. But South Korea is far outpacing the U.S. in tests per capita. South Korea has tested 1-in-170 people. The U.S.: 1-in-1,090.”
MORE FALSE CLAIMS:
Trump contradicted health experts and governors by claiming many states could safely lift social distancing guidelines.
Politico’s Brianna Ehley: “Trump says a lot of states in the Midwest could lift social distancing guidelines now… but many govs in that region of the country disagree and say they expect peak infections to happen around May”
Trump claimed the coronavirus isn’t a problem for many states, but there are multiple confirmed cases of COVID-19 in all 50 states, and the number of cases is growing astronomically each day.
TRUMP: “Many states don’t have a problem.”
CDC: “Jurisdictions reporting cases: 54 (50 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and US Virgin Islands)”
Washington Post’s Philip Bump: “Trump’s insistence that some states don’t have a problem with the coronavirus sounds a lot like his insistence a month ago that the country didn’t, either.”
FAILED TO LEAD:
Trump claimed he is doing everything possible to help New York City, but admitted he isn’t using the full powers available to him under the Defense Production Act, despite bipartisan calls to do so.
TRUMP: “I’m doing everything in my power to help the city pull through this challenge.”
TRUMP on Defense Production Act: “I don’t have to use it very much at all.”
Washington Post: “One of the issues Cuomo complains about is that states have to compete and outbid each other for the supplies currently on the market. He says the federal government should intervene with the Defense Production Act and allocate these resources.”