Trump Snaps, Creates Confusion & Contradicts Experts In Latest Briefing
March 20, 2020
In his latest press briefing, Trump once again proved that he is not fit to lead during times of crisis. When asked about his message to scared Americans, Trump snapped and attacked a reporter. He also continued to spread misinformation about testing, overstate progress on treatments, and create confusion about the supply shortage.
MADE FALSE CLAIMS:
Trump was corrected by a top health official after he downplayed the reality that Americans with symptoms are unable to get tested.
Washington Post’s Matt Viser: “President Trump, asked about Americans with symptoms unable to get a test: ‘I’m not hearing it.’
Dr. Anthony Fauci, minutes later: ‘I understand with and empathize with people who say ‘I want to get a test, and I cannot.’ He adds, ‘That is a reality that is happening now.’”
Trump falsely claimed that he inherited a broken system to try to deflect blame for his own failed response.
TRUMP: “We inherited, we, meaning this administration, an obsolete broken system that wasn’t meant for anything like this.”
CBS News’s Kathryn Watson: “Trump keeps reiterating he inherited a ‘broken, old, frankly terrible’ system. But he did have three years to fix it before now.”
New York Times: “Government exercises, including one last year, made clear that the U.S. was not ready for a pandemic like the coronavirus. But little was done.”
Trump was once again repeatedly contradicted after claiming a drug had been approved by the FDA to be prescribed as a COVID-19 treatment and that it was an effective therapy.
NBC News’ Garrett Haake: “Fauci calls evidence of an anti-malarial treatment ‘anecdotal’ at best. Jumps in TWICE to pour cold water on happy talk about the drug’s alleged efficacy. Trump says it’s ‘just a feeling’ that the drug will work.”
Wall Street Journals’ Rebecca Ballhaus: “Dr. Tony Fauci says there is ‘no magic drug’ out there to treat coronavirus. Trump, asked whether he thinks there is a magic drug: ‘Maybe there is, maybe there isn’t.’”
ProPublica’s Charles Ornstein: “Trump says he’s a big fan of an unproven treatment for #COVID19. ‘We’re going to know soon,’ he says. Fauci says, ‘It was never done in a clinical trial.’”
CREATED MORE CONFUSION:
As governors and health officials continue to sound the alarm about the shortage of supplies, Trump only created more confusion about whether or not he instituted the Defense Authorization Act and was using the full power of the federal government to order supplies production.
New York Times’ Maggie Haberman: “The president has given at least three conflicting answers to this question about the DPA and how it’s been invoked or whether it has been”
Politico’s Meridith McGraw: “Maybe it’s me but this is confusing — Trump said he invoked the Defense Production Act & ‘last night we put it into gear.’ Then said ‘We invoked it the day before we signed it, the evening before. And invoked it yesterday.’ Schumer’s spox said he was urged to use it this AM.”
NBC News’ Heidi Pryzbyla: “Trump says he’s activated the Defense Production Act, authorizing him to direct production. Pence says companies are ‘volunteering’ Which one is it: Are companies being *directed” to produce the supplies needed or is this still a ‘volunteer’ effort?”