Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump has been holding daily press briefings, updating the public about what the administration is doing to combat the crisis. According to Dr. Joseph Fair, the press conferences might be doing more harm than good.
In an interview with MSNBC broadcast on Saturday, Fair suggested that Trump is spreading misinformation during the conferences, misleading his supporters, and therefore putting Americans in grave danger. Per Raw Story, speaking with host Ali Velshi, Fair argued that “conflicting messages” are the main issue.
“We get conflicting messages between what’s happening on the ground versus what you see in a White House briefing,” the expert began.
“And that leads to, you know, half of the people not taking this seriously because, you know, there are cult-like followers of every White House briefing, they take every word of that for truth,” he continued.
According to Fair — who likened the pandemic to a war — the situation on the ground is not nearly as good as the president often suggests during his daily news conferences, and everyone should instead pay more attention to what is actually happening in hospitals across the country.
“All you have to do is walk into a hospital to see that that is not the reality on the ground, and so you listen to your troops on the ground if you’re in a war, and we’re in a wartime situation with this disease.”
Trump’s press briefings have been marked by controversy. For instance, during the Friday briefing, the president attacked The Washington Post, calling the publication’s reporting a “disgrace,” and suggesting that it is publishing “inaccurate” stories about his administration.
According to the paper, U.S. intelligence agencies were “issuing ominous, classified warnings” in the months of January and February, but the president nevertheless continued to downplay the coronavirus outbreak. According to Trump, however, China is to blame for the situation because it did not warn the United States about the virus on time.
The administration’s response to the pandemic has been criticized, with prominent Democratic politicians suggesting that Trump is not doing enough to stop the crisis. Notably, former Vice President Joe Biden — who is all but certain to win the Democratic nomination and face Trump in November 2020 — suggested during a press call earlier this week that Trump’s response has been inadequate.
As president, Biden said, he would provide $100 billion for local governments to mobilize reserve corps, instruct the Department of Defense to help with logistics, activate the Defense Production Act, and provide free testing for all citizens. Furthermore, he stated, both workers and businesses need to be helped by the government in order to survive the looming economic crisis.