- President Donald Trump swallowed up 60% of the speaking time at daily White House briefings on coronavirus since mid-March, a Washington Post analysis found, talking for over 28 hours in 35 briefings since March 16.
- From April 6 to April 24, Trump spent 45 minutes praising himself and his administration, and two hours attacking others, according to the analysis. And he spent less than five minutes offering condolences to victims of the pandemic during that time.
- Trump has faced near-universal criticism since Thursday’s briefing, in which he suggested disinfectants could be injected to cure coronavirus. His comments were widely condemned as dangerous.
- The president spoke for just 30 minutes at Friday’s briefing and took no questions. No briefing was held on Saturday, as Trump tweeted that the press conferences are “not worth the time and effort.”
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President Donald Trump has dominated the lectern at daily White House press briefings on the novel coronavirus since mid-March, speaking 60% of the time, according to an analysis from the Washington Post.
In total, the president spoke for over 28 hours in 35 briefings since March 16, according to the analysis, which translated into less time for feedback from top medical experts who generally appear at the briefings, such as Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Trump spent a significant chunk of briefings in the past several weeks boasting, attacking rivals, and spreading false information. In a third of Trump’s responses to questions from reporters (113 out of 346) he launched into attacks, while providing false or misleading information in almost a quarter of his remarks.
The president spent 45 minutes praising himself and his administration and two hours on attacks in the past three weeks (April 6 to April 24), the Post found, but less than five minutes offering condolences to victims of the pandemic.
Trump has faced consistent, bipartisan criticism over his demeanor at White House press conferences on coronavirus, which has come in concert with negative polling for the president that’s showed a majority of Americans dissaprove of his handling of the pandemic. And an Insider poll released last month found that Trump was among the least trusted officials when it came to guidance on coronavirus.
The president has been charged with substituting the briefings for his raucous campaign rallies, which can’t safely take place due to the pandemic.
Meanwhile, the US is the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, with the most reported cases and confirmed fatalities of any country in the world.
The backlash to his antics at the briefings reached new heights in recent days after Trump on Thursday suggested disinfectant could be injected to treat coronavirus. In the same press conference, Trump pondered aloud whether bringing “light” inside the body could serve as a cure. The president’s remarks came after Bill Bryan, the head of the science and technology directorate at the Department of Homeland Security, discussed research regarding how COVID-19 reacted to sunlight.
But there’s absolutely no evidence that injecting oneself with a disinfectant, such as bleach, works as a cure for coronavirus and doing so could be dangerous and even deadly.
In the wake of Trump’s comments, manufacturers of cleaning products like Lysol and Dettol issued warnings against ingesting or injecting disinfectants. Doctors and public health experts have raised concerns since Trump’s remarks on disinfectants, worrying about the potentially fatal consequences if people take the president’s suggestions seriously.
Trump did not take any questions at Friday’s press briefing after speaking for only 30 minutes. There was no briefing on Saturday, nor was a press conference scheduled for Sunday.
Amid reports that Republican leaders are becoming increasingly concerned that Trump is hurting his reelection chances with his performances at the press conferences, the president on Saturday tweeted that the briefings are “not worth the time and effort.”