Donald Trump’s Coronavirus Press Conference Completely Misses the Point

February 29, 2020 11:45 PM UTC
During Saturday's press conference on the spread of the coronavirus, Donald Trump mostly wasted our time by gloating over past victories. Trump wants everyone to calm down, but we would all feel a lot better if he just got his facts straight.
  • A Washington state health official announced the country’s first confirmed coronavirus death on Saturday.
  • Donald Trump held a press conference later that day to give a coronavirus update.
  • Not only did he get the gender of the patient wrong, but he also spent most of the press conference wasting our time.

Donald Trump spent the first five minutes his coronavirus press conference on Saturday patting himself on the back for his Taliban deal. He then repeatedly acknowledged his excellent handling of the coronavirus in its early stages.

The U.S., meanwhile, had its first coronavirus death as community spread continues to grow.

We are totally screwed if the White House handles the coronavirus outbreak as obliviously as it handles press conferences. While people like Trump and Dr. Drew try to calm us down, the virus only appears to be spreading throughout the west coast of the U.S.

White House Pumps Travel Advisory, But Coronavirus Is Already Here

Vice President Mike Pence’s big contribution at Saturday’s press conference was the announcement of a new level of travel advisory. He said he will be increasing travel advisory to its highest level, level 4, to infected areas of South Korea and Italy.

Mike Pence announces his new travel restrictions. | Source: Twitter

Great job, Mike. Anybody who’s been watching the news would avoid these places like, well, the plague. And if you haven’t heard that these areas are infected, then you likely didn’t watch this press conference, either.

Meanwhile, the biggest threat to Americans appears to be growing from within.

First U.S. Coronavirus Death Had Nothing to Do With Travel

According to Donald Trump, the first person to die from coronavirus in the U.S. was a Washington woman who was “medically high-risk patient in her late 50s.”

During a press conference held later that day by Washington health officials, infectious disease specialist Dr. Frank Riedo clarified:

He was a chronically ill person, he was a man.

Whoops, looks like someone misgendered the first COVID-19 victim in the U.S. While it’s not necessarily vital information, you have to wonder where else Trump is misinformed.

The patient lived in Washington state, where a high school boy has also contracted the virus. Neither patient traveled to areas that were linked to the virus or had any known close contact with an infected person.

The coronavirus is most highly concentrated on the west coast of the U.S. | Source: San Francisco Chronicle

Infections have also popped up in California and Oregon. While Pence, with his shoddy history of disease control, pumps his travel advisory, the biggest threat of infection is growing within American borders.

Donald Trump and His “22 Cases” Will Soon Mean Nothing

Trump repeatedly referenced the 22 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection in America, like it was supposed to make us all feel better. He emphasized that the risk for Americans remains low.

During the Washington press conference, however, State Health Officer Kathy Lofy said that the “risk to the general public is increasing.”

She acknowledged that her team will have tough decisions ahead. If the spread continues, she said, officials might have to cancel large events and create further restrictions. Thanks for your honesty, Kathy. It’s much more refreshing to hear the truth than passing reassurances.

How Trump Could Have Handled This

While the White House did address the first coronavirus death, they could’ve used to their platform to give Americans the information they really need. Instead of just congratulating himself, Trump could’ve detailed how Americans can prepare for the spread of the coronavirus.

He said there’s “no reason to panic, at all.” That’s like telling someone who’s upset to just “calm down.” Has that ever worked? Instead, Trump should’ve taken a note from the Washington state press conference.

It’s hard to tell what the bigger problem is anymore. | Source: Twitter

Those officials repeatedly emphasized actions we can take. They recommended social distancing, handwashing, not leaving the house if you become ill, having medications in your home, and stocking up on foods that you like to eat. This is the type of information that Americans need.

While we don’t know how far the coronavirus will spread, we do know that Donald Trump is highly at risk of sounding out of touch.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of


Josiah Wilmoth edited this article for If you see a breach of our Code of Ethics or find a factual, spelling, or grammar error, please contact us.

Last modified: June 24, 2020 1:04 AM UTC


Aaron is a contributor and editor for He has been a professional writer and journalist for over ten years. After graduating with honors from Western Michigan University, he's written extensively for newspapers, websites, and various TV shows and web series. Email: Visit his website here, his LinkedIn profile here, or his Muck Rack profile here.