President Donald Trump held a lengthy press conference where he discussed a range of topics, from Sweden’s response to the coronavirus to May’s surprisingly good jobs numbers. But when PBS correspondent Yamiche Alcindor asked Trump about his plan to address racial inequality, the president pressed his fingers to his lips and said “shhh.”
Later, as the official White House video — via YouTube — of the event shows, when Alcindor pressed Trump as to how black unemployment going up by a tenth of a percentage point could be considered a victory, he waved her off and said “you are something.”
During the press conference, Trump praised the economy, noting that unemployment had decreased from April to May, something that came as a surprise to many experts.
But the news wasn’t good for everyone across the board. People of Latino, black, and Native American communities continued to see unemployment increase.
During the press conference, Trump addressed the ongoing unrest over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died while in police custody after then-officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck and back for nearly 9 minutes. The president said that he thought the day would have made Floyd happy, prompting shock and backlash from critics who felt that his comments were inappropriate.
After his remarks, Trump sat down to sign a Paycheck Protection Program reform bill when reporters, Alcindor among them, began to shout questions at him.
“Mr. President, why don’t you have a plan for systemic racism? Why have you not laid out a plan for systemic racism?” she asked.
In response to her concern about how his administration planned to address racism, Trump said that his plan was to have “the strongest economy in the world.” This, he said, is the “greatest thing that can happen for race relations.”
“Black unemployment went up by 0.1 percent, Asian American unemployment went up by 0.5 percent,” Alcindor followed up.
“How is that a victory?”
After dismissing her, the president began to walk away before offering a parting thought.
“I have to say though it’s been a great achievement, I feel so good about it. This is just the beginning. The best is yet to come,” Trump said.
This is not the first time he has butted heads with Alcindor. In late March, he told her that “you people” need to be more positive when addressing him. He faced backlash from those who thought that his comment and tone was insulting.