Trump Avoids Responsibility & Downplays Coronavirus In Latest Briefing
March 18, 2020
In his press conference today, Trump made it clear that his tone has not changed on coronavirus. He continued his failed response by skirting blame, refusing to take responsibility, repeating falsehoods and downplaying the severity of the crisis.
Faced with his low credibility ratings, Trump falsely said his credibility is “very high” and that “people like the job I’m doing.”
Washington Post’s Josh Dawsey: “‘We have very great approval numbers,’ Trump says. ‘People like the job I’m doing.’”
CNN’s Daniel Dale: “Told his ‘credibility ratings’ are very low, Trump says they’re ‘very high,’ then falsely claims he’s at 95% in the Republican Party”
Trump tried to evade responsibility for his failure to respond earlier to the coronavirus outbreak by claiming it“snuck up on us.” It didn’t. He chose to ignore experts.
HuffPost’s Igor Bobic: “‘It snuck up on us,’ Trump says of coronavirus”
CNN’s Jeff Zeleny: “‘It would have been helpful if we knew about it earlier,’
@realDonaldTrump says, ignoring the fact that his administration knew about coronavirus crisis long before it recognized it and began to act in a serious way.”
Trump tried to shift blame onto hospitals and claimed a medical equipment shortage was “unforeseen” after he was asked why it took him so long to invoke the Defense Production Act despite being warned for weeks about a looming shortage.
Trump: “You know, hospitals are supposed to have ventilators too. And when we have thousands of ventilators, it sounds like a lot, but this is a very unforeseen thing. Nobody ever thought of these numbers.”
Trump and Pence both downplayed the severe shortage of ventilators in the federal stockpile due to the Trump administration’s delayed response.
CNN’s Daniel Dale: “Trump asked about ventilators: ‘We have tremendous numbers of ventilators, but there’s never been an instance like this where no matter what you have, it’s not enough.’”
NBC News’s Geoff Bennett: “Pence says there are ‘in excess of 10,000’ ventilators currently in stockpile.”
Trump offered no solution to ensure the wealthy and well-connected are not given preferential treatment for coronavirus testing, saying it’s the “story of life.”
Trump: “Perhaps that’s been the story of life.”