Thursday’s controversial White House task force coronavirus press briefing has apparently had some aftershocks that have led to a new policy from the White House.
Recent reports reveal that Trump has been advised to scale down the length and change the format of the daily press briefings in which the president updates the nation on the progress in the fight against COVID-19.
Time for a change
Typically, the daily updates have lasted anywhere from 90 minutes to more than two hours. Because of the length and the back-and-forth between Trump and the media, some networks are not even covering the briefings any longer.
Thursday, however, was much different. After Trump made some confusing and controversial comments about using light and heat light as a way to “disinfect” coronavirus patients, the media lit him up, twisted his words, and made him look foolish.
Trump did not help his case by saying after the fact that the comments were “sarcastic” rather than attacking the media for how they misrepresented his musings.
If he could get in front of the camera and say he may have worded something wrong or misinterpreted what he heard, he probably could have really turned this around.
Trump’s hubris, however, does not even bring an approach like that on the radar, so he ended up taking a massive hit. Now, to avoid another disaster like Thursday, the White House is reportedly going to significantly shorten up the pressers.
These briefings are now part of the election cycle and can be an absolute disaster for Trump if they go wrong.
Shortening them up is the better move and it would be even better if Trump left the medical testing and treatment announcements up to the medical professionals on his team.
Trump has taken quite a few media hits for asking off-the-cuff questions of the task force members during the briefings, often setting off a media firestorm.
Axios reported that Trump may even choose to not appear at the pressers at all, leaving the daily updates to task force leader Mike Pence and experts Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx.
This is less of a knock on Trump as it is the acknowledgment that the media does nothing more than look for a soundbite it can use against him during these pressers. Why even allow them the opportunity?