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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This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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