During the White House press briefing on coronavirus Monday, President Donald Trump shared a video that many compared to political advertising or propaganda, and which appeared to ignore an entire month of comments from the president on the deadly disease.
At the conclusion of the video, Trump was asked by ABC News’ Jonathan Karl about who produced the more than 3-minutes-long clip. “It was done by a group in the office, and it was, just some clips together,” Trump responded.
Other reporters questioned the legitimacy of Trump’s video, and when asked basic questions about a missing “gap” of time from it, the commander-in-chief got visibly angry.
The clip appeared to showcase a number of highly selective videos from January in which some in the media downplayed the threat of coronavirus.
It also included a scene in which one of Trump’s favorites, Sean Hannity, asked a question in which he appeared to have a concern that coronavirus might be harmful — a visual that ignores countless pieces of evidence in which Hannity has before suggested that COVID-19 was nothing to worry over, and that those who expressed concern were only doing so to make the president look bad.
The clip showed by Trump on Monday, however, wasn’t done from there. While highlighting Trump’s closing of travel from China to the U.S. in late January, the clip then skipped nearly the entire month of February, going instead past most of the first week of March to highlight a selective montage of the president discussing the disease in a positive light.
That’s a history that ignores a number of comments Trump had made in the interim, in which he, not the media, had downplayed the threat of coronavirus, and had suggested any criticisms of his ignoring health experts’ comments on the disease were mere political attacks against him.
- “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China.” (January 22)
- “We think we have it very well under control. We have very little problem in this country at this moment.” (January 30)
- “Well, we pretty much shut it down coming in from China.” (February 2)
- “I think it’s going to work out fine. I think when we get into April, in the warmer weather, that has a very negative effect on that and that type of a virus. So let’s see what happens, but I think it’s going to work out fine.” (February 19)
- “When you have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero. That’s a pretty good job we’ve done.” (February 26)
- “We’re ready for it. It is what it is. We’re ready for it. We’re really prepared.” (February 26)
- “It’s going to disappear. One day, it’s like a miracle, it will disappear.” (February 28)
- “Now the Democrats are politicizing the coronavirus…This is [the Democrats’] new hoax.” (February 28)
- “You have to be calm. It’ll go away.” (March 6)
- “The Fake News Media and their partner, the Democrat Party, is doing everything within its semi-considerable power (it used to be greater!) to inflame the CoronaVirus situation, far beyond what the facts would warrant.” (March 9)
Reporters in the White House briefing room weren’t having it. Noting that there was an entire “gap” across the month of February, CBS News’ Paula Reid asked Trump, “What did you do with the time that you bought?” referring to his continuous claim that the travel ban from China did a lot to help the U.S.
If propaganda videos aren’t enough here is the POTUS absolutely losing his shit at Paula Reid.
— Sleater Kinski (@fortylittleking) April 13, 2020
Trump responded that his administration did “a lot,” but wouldn’t mention any of their actions in February. Reid pressed him on the issue, but the president lashed back at her, after he failed to answer her question.
“You know, you’re a fake,” he said.
What's Your Reaction?
Chris Walker is a freelance writer based out of Madison, Wisconsin. A millennial with more than a decade of journalism experience, Chris aims to provide readers with the latest and most accurate news of national importance. Chris likes to spend his free time doing activities in his community with his family.