Howard Stern Says It’s ‘Mind Boggling’ That Donald Trump Is Bragging About Ratings During Coronavirus Crisis

Howard Stern appears at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Theo Wargo / Getty Images for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Howard Stern is not a fan of Donald Trump’s boasts about ratings during the coronavirus crisis.

The radio host, who said he considers Trump a friend and frequently hosted him on the air back when Trump was a real estate mogul and New York City playboy, said it is “mind boggling” that Trump this week bragging about the ratings for his daily briefings on the spread of the coronavirus. Trump stirred controversy this week after he tweeted a portion of a New York Times story noting that millions of Americans are tuning in to watch him daily — more than watch the popular dating reality show The Bachelor.

“Do I pull my hair out of my head when I see my buddy Donald Trump standing there talking about how can people not look at his ratings, and his ratings are higher than The Bachelor?” Stern said on his SiriusXM show on Tuesday, via The Hill.

“The reason his ratings are higher are because people are scared sh*tless.”

Stern went on to say that Trump seems to see the important coronavirus briefings as a “reality TV show,” but said that Americans are only tuning in because they are in a crisis and looking for leadership.

But the radio host added that he doesn’t see a point in harping too often on the president, noting that it won’t do anything to help Trump change his behavior.

“I can’t change Donald Trump. You think I’m going to change a 70-something-year-old man who’s never been in therapy?” Stern mused.

“Do you think I’m going to change a man who’s never been introspective? First time I met him, he spoke about himself for an hour, didn’t ask me one question. I mean that’s Donald. I can’t yell at a turtle to run faster.”

Stern then added that he isn’t mad at Trump for bragging about his ratings, realizing that this is just who he is as a person.

Trump has been widely criticized for his tone and history of questionable statements at his briefings on the coronavirus, including a series of early statements downplaying the outbreak and predicting that it would be over in a matter of days. Trump has also lashed out at reporters who have asked him about his history of questioning the severity of the crisis or the need for medical supplies from states, and has still disputed the need for tens of thousands of ventilators that states have requested.