Trump Is Oblivious to the Coronavirus Crisis
March 30, 2020
At his press briefing today, Trump showed how oblivious he is to the scale of the crisis facing Americans.
SPREAD CONSPIRACY THEORY:
Failing to grasp the magnitude of the PPE shortage facing health care workers, Trump continued pushing an unfounded conspiracy theory that hospital staff are stealing masks and other supplies.
TRUMP: “When you go from 10,000 masks to 300,000 masks, Mike, over the same period of time, there’s something going on.”
ABC News: “Trump implied, without evidence, that there was a nefarious reason for the shortage in masks, which states have criticized the federal government for not providing. Meanwhile, nurses and doctors across the country have resorted to re-using protective equipment, accepting donations, buying their own PPE (personal protective equipment) and other workarounds to keep themselves safe.”
Washington Post’s Paul Farhi: “Trump advises reporter to validate his own claim about face masks. ‘You should go over there and ask the hospital’ to support his assertion, for which he provides no evidence.”
DOWNPLAYED THE CRISIS:
Trump claimed victory for Ford and GE Healthcare’s plan to build 50,000 ventilators over the next 100 days and said the U.S. would be able to send extra ventilators to Europe, despite ongoing shortages and governors pleading for help
The Sun’s Ryan Sabey: “@realDonaldTrump in White House briefing says Ford will produce 50,000 ventilators in less than 100 days. He says they will be sent to ‘Italy, France, Spain…and other countries as we can.’”
New York Times: “As governors beg, Trump promises ventilators to Europe.”
New York Times: “[Governor] Cuomo said on Tuesday that the state needed 30,000 ventilators in the coming weeks — not months — to cope with skyrocketing infections.”
Trump attacked reporters for reading his quotes downplaying the coronavirus back to him.
MSNBC’s Chris Jansing: “As he did yesterday – when asked about his own statements in the past (in this case downplaying the crisis and saying coronavirus will just disappear) Trump goes after the reporter and calls it a ‘nasty, snarky question’”
McClatchy’s David Catanese: “‘I could cause panic, much better than even you,’ Trump says, upset at a CNN question that recited his previous statements downplaying the coronavirus.”
SPINNING HIS FAILURES:
Pressed on why the U.S.’s testing capabilities still lag so far behind countries like South Korea, Trump refused to answer the question and instead ended the press conference.
CNN’s Daniel Dale: “Asked why the US still isn’t testing as many per capita as South Korea, and asked when it’ll be on par, Trump claims it is on par, though it isn’t, and then talks about how South Korea is much denser.”
New York Times’s Alan Rappeport: “Trump says a question from @Yamiche about why the US is testing fewer people per capita than South Korea is a ‘snarky question’ and ends the press conference.”