Trump Turns Latest Briefing Into Infomercial For Untested Coronavirus Treatment
April 5, 2020
In his latest briefing, at which he once again contradicted experts by pushing an unproven coronavirus treatment, Trump continued to spread falsehoods and downplay the severity of this crisis as his own coronavirus task force warns the worst is yet to come.
MORE FALSE CLAIMS:
Trump contradicted public health experts by pushing an unproven treatment that members of his task force have cautioned against promoting as effective and claiming with no evidence there would not be side effects from taking it, before stating the obvious: “What do I know, I’m not a doctor.”
TRUMP: “What do I know, I’m not a doctor. But I have common sense.”
Wall Street Journal’s Ben Pershing: “‘There are signs that it works on this … very strong, powerful signs’ that hydroxychloroquine works on coronavirus, Trump says, going further than any administration health officials will.”
Wall Street Journal’s Ben Pershing: “And Trump just advised the opposite of what these states are recommending — saying that people should take hydrochloroquine *before* they get coronavirus. Unclear if there are any studies at all suggesting that it can prevent people from getting coronavirus.”
PBS’s Yamiche Alcindor: “Again, can’t be underscored enough. Hydroxychloroquine is being tested to see if it is effective. No drug has been approved by the FDA to treat coronavirus.”
CNN’s Daniel Dale: “Trump keeps giving people bad medical advice about the safety of hydroxychloroquine: ‘It can help them, but it’s not going to hurt them. That’s the beauty of it…what do you have to lose?’”
Trump touted his administration’s rollout of a small business loan program, despite small business leaders saying they couldn’t get their applications processed.
Washington Post’s James Hohmann: “I’ve been on the phone all weekend with small business leaders who are, in fact, not having as easy a time as Trump claims getting loans so they can stay open.”
Small Business Leader: “We had our stuff yesterday ready to go. I’m still sitting here with my application.”
DOWNPLAYED THE CRISIS:
Trump tried to say the country was approaching the end of this crisis hours after his surgeon general warned that we were entering a time period that could be comparable to 9/11 and Pearl Harbor.
CNN’s Manu Raju: “On the same day his surgeon general warns that the next two weeks could be tantamount to 9/11 and Pearl Harbor, Trump says tonight: ‘We are starting to see light at the end of the tunnel.’”
New York Times’s Maggie Haberman: “Words being used at this press conference – ‘glimmers’ of progress, ‘level’ off, ‘stabilize.’ A prelude to a push for changing the guidelines after April 30. Several states are still facing their own peaks of this virus.”
Associated Press’s Michael Tackett: “All I can say is right now things are looking really good, Trump said”
FAILED TO LEAD:
Trump continued his attacks on our nation’s governors for pleading with the federal government to do more to help their states and once again said the government does not owe states help in this crisis.
Associated Press’s Michael Tackett: “‘Pritzker, he’s always complaining…he has not performed well,’ Trump said”
CNN’s Daniel Dale: “Trump on why they’re sending ventilators to Illinois and building a hospital there: ‘The governor couldn’t do his job, so we had to help him.’”
Washington Post’s James Hohmann: “Trump continues tonight to put the onus on states over the federal government: ‘We’re supposed to be the backup. But, like in Illinois, the governor couldn’t do his job. … We are meant to be the backup, but we’ve taken on a much bigger role than that.’”
Trump refused to answer a question about why his administration wasted nearly two months before ordering badly needed medical supplies and equipment.
CNN’s Kaitlan Collins: “Trump cuts off an Associated Press reporter who was attempting to ask about this report showing that federal agencies largely waited until mid-March to begin placing bulk orders of N95 masks, ventilators & other equipment needed by health care workers.”
Associated Press: “The Trump administration squandered nearly two months that could have been used to bolster the federal stockpile of critically needed medical supplies and equipment… Federal purchasing records, however, show the Trump administration delayed making big orders for additional supplies until the virus had taken root and was spreading.”