U.S. President Donald Trump is under heavy criticism for turning a daily press conference on COVID-19 held at the White House into a campaign stage for his reelection. Some broadcasting companies even stopped live coverage on Monday as the president began playing a compilation of news clips portraying his administration’s handling of the pandemic in a positive light.
President Trump played a five-minute video containing the clips of media and experts unable to predict the worsening of COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. in the early stages and governors of major states thanking the federal government for its support. It seemed to be the president’s intention to address criticism that he was responsible for the massive spread of the virus by ignoring experts’ warnings on several occasions.
“Because we’re getting fake news and I like to have it corrected,” the president responded when asked by a reporter why he felt he had to put a campaign-style video together. He also complained of unfair criticism from the media describing him as a racist and xenophobe and “fake news” treating him like a barbarian. He also criticized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her lack of apology regarding a comment she made in late February to go to Chinatown.
Meanwhile, CNN and MSNBC stopped live broadcasting in the middle of the press conference on Monday while Fox News, which is favorable to President Trump, has continued until the end.
President Trump also denied the rumor that he would dismiss Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “Today I walk in and I hear I'm going to fire him. I'm not firing. I think he's a wonderful guy,” the president said before letting the director step in to talk. The rumor started as the director said earlier that more lives could have been saved if the government had acted more quickly. Dr. Fauci clarified during the Monday press conference that his comment was an answer to a hypothetical question.