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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 CCN.com.
Last modified: June 24, 2020 1:04 AM UTC