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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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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