Since the coronavirus pandemic hit the United States, President Donald Trump has been holding daily press conferences, updating the public about the latest developments, and answering questions from members of the media. According to Raw Story, the president’s Saturday briefing turned into a “de facto campaign rally.”
Trump discussed his decision to close the borders and restrict travel, alleging that he decided to do so early on, despite opposition from Democratic Party politicians, and even some of his advisers. The decision, the president said, led to accusations of racism and xenophobia.
“Hey, look. I was called xenophobic by Sleepy Joe Biden. I was called a racist by Democrats,” Trump began. “I was a racist because I decided I didn’t want to have people that could hurt our country come in. And I was pretty much in a very small group of people.”
“I will tell you it was a tiny little group. Most people even that worked in the White House disagreed with me very strongly … I also closed Europe early. Very early. And I took a lot of heat for that, too,” he continued.
Trump also took advantage of the opportunity to attack the media, complaining about an explosive report by The Washington Post which alleges that U.S. intelligence agencies warned about a potential coronavirus outbreak in January. Trump, according to the report, continued to downplay the crisis despite being briefed on it.
According to the president, however, the story is inaccurate and “insulting.
During the conference, Trump shifted the blame to China, arguing that the country failed to warn the United States about the virus on time. He also talked about China’s decision to expel American journalists in what appears to be an ongoing effort to remove those critical of the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to some experts, Trump’s press conferences pose a real danger to Americans. In an interview with MSNBC broadcast on Saturday, Dr. Joseph Fair argued that Trump is spreading misinformation about the coronavirus during his daily briefings, which could convince his “cult-like” supporters that the pandemic should not be taken seriously.
According to Fair, “conflicting messages” from Trump could be dangerous. Comparing the pandemic to war, the expert opined that Trump is simply not sharing accurate information about the coronavirus with the public, since the situation on the ground — namely, in hospitals across the country — suggests that the health care infrastructure is not able to handle the crisis.