“What do you say to the Americans who are scared? Nearly 200 dead, 14,000 who are sick. Millions, as you witnessed, who are scared right now. What do you say to Americans who are watching you right now who are scared?” asked NBC News White House correspondent Peter Alexander.
“I’d say that you’re a terrible reporter. That’s what I’d say. I think it’s a very nasty question and I think it’s a very bad signal that you’re putting out to the American people,” replied Trump in a wretched display of rising anger that I had not seen since he said there were “very fine people” among the white supremacists who unleashed racism and anti-Semitism in Charlottesville in August 2017.
Trump’s dismal performance should tell the American people a lot. Your president couldn’t care less about your fears for your family or your livelihood. He is more concerned about the volume of happy talk that he and enablers such as Vice President Pence can fill the airwaves with. And Trump seemingly couldn’t care less that his pronouncements and promises are little more than wishful thinking or make-believe. As The Post reported on Thursday, “Day after day, many of the president’s boldest pronouncements at the White House have failed to materialize as quickly as he has promised or turned out to be more complicated than he has suggested.”
Meanwhile, evidence of real fear mounts. New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) signed an executive order on Friday “mandating that 100% of workforce must stay home, excluding essential services.” The skyrocketing number of cases in California pushed Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Thursday to issue his own stay-at-home order to the state’s 40 million residents. More startling, in a letter to Trump requesting the immediate deployment of a naval hospital ship, Newsom revealed “that roughly 56 percent of our population — 25.5 million people — will be infected with the virus over an eight week period.” And don’t get me started on the shortage of face masks and other vital supplies medical professionals need to fight the coronavirus.
Trump treats the resurrected White House press briefing as though he were back in the boardroom of “The Apprentice,” pontificating and stirring up drama. There were even gasp-worthy guest stars at Friday’s “show.” Standing off to the side was the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump, who is now back at “work” after her brush with someone who tested positive for covid-19. And waltzing back into the briefing room on Friday, where he once regularly lied as Trump’s first press secretary, was Sean Spicer. Trump added to the theater of the absurd by fielding a question from the man eliminated from “Dancing With the Stars” back in November.
Alexander, an actual journalist, asked Trump a legitimate question: What do you say to the Americans who are scared? Rather than blow up, Trump should have just said “Stay tuned.” Same indifference. Less bite.
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