Donald Trump’s Coronavirus Press Conference Was a Debacle

Gripas Yuri/Abaca via ZUMA

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Like many of you, I cringed my way through President Trump’s coronavirus press conference a couple of hours ago. There are so many takeaways that they’re hard to list. Trump claimed that a Google triage website was either ready now or just about ready—it was a little hard to tell—but then Google followed up afterward with a tweet saying that development was in “early stages.”¹ Trump spent upwards of half his time congratulating himself for the great job he’s done and then blaming all our problems on bureaucratic tangles he inherited from Obama. He invited business people to the podium and then shook all their hands—precisely what doctors have told us not to do. He said drive-up testing stations were available, or would be soon, or something, without any indication of when and where they would be. The coronavirus, he said, would soon “wash through” and everyone would come out the better for it. And he hardly even mentioned any of the following:

  • Don’t shake hands.
  • Practice social distancing.
  • Avoid large crowds.
  • Cancel book clubs and other unimportant meetings.
  • Wash your hands.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Etc.

Trump had a nationally televised stage to urge good habits on people, but he didn’t. It’s always all about him. Everything is always about him. It’s unbelievable.

¹Actually, it’s worse than that: it will initially direct people only to pilot sites for testing in the Bay Area. “In all,” says The Verge, “the difference between the reality of what is being built and what was promised during the press conference is very large.”

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Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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