“There’ll be a lot of death”: Trump says, presses unproven cures in Saturday pandemic press briefing

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This afternoon, Donald Trump continued the daily melange of mixed messages and misinformation in another of the coronavirus press conferences that he’s substituted for his campaign rallies as the main focus of his reelection efforts.

In a briefing that only served to prove the need for need for instituting a minimum IQ requirement for all future presidential candidates, Trump veered wildly between praising his administration’s efforts in responding to the devastating pandemic — warning that nonetheless “there’ll be a lot of death” — and returning to the theme that is sure to ensure that the pandemic only grows worse, his repeated insistence that the country must be re-opened as soon as possible, name-checking numerous sports executives as if their current idleness was more important than saving the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.

CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale live-tweeted the press briefing as it proceeded.

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Trump also spent a lot of time reiterating his unverified faith in the untested drug used in the treatment of lupus and other immune diseases as a potential cure — and even a prophylactic — against the COVID-19 virus, forcing Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, to carefully walk back the president’s outlandish claims without appearing to contradict his continued quasi-religious belief in the unproven pharmaceuticals.

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When reporters were finally given the opportunity to ask questions of the president after his rambling monologue, Trump was in his usual combative and defensive posture, mischaracterizing the facts about the reasons behind his firing of the inspector general of the U.S. intelligence community, Michael Atkinson, yesterday, and going on a renewed attack against the whistleblower whose revelations about his Ukraine phone call led to Trump’s impeachment.

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The most gobsmacking moment of the briefing — the section when Trump’s failure to read the fever-stricken pulse of the nation was most apparent — came, however, when the president was asked about the firing of Captain Brett Crozier, the former commander of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, who was dismissed from his command of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier after a letter he wrote pleading for assistance for his coronavirus ravaged crew was leaked to the public.

Trump at first pled ignorance of the details of the incident, before launching into a critique of the captain who was loudly cheered by his grateful sailors as he departed the ship he had commanded in a video clip that went viral yesterday.

You can check out a video clip of the president’s tone-deaf excuses for the dismissal of the man just about everyone else in America considers a principled hero in the excerpt below.

Trump’s defense against accusations of piracy after he interceded to seize a shipment of medical supplies from 3M, a private company, bound for Germany to redirect it for American use was full of invective towards the corporate leaders at the Minnesota-based company, a response that should provide a warning to those corporate supporters of the president that their loyalty to him could be misplaced since he’s willing to turn on them on a dime if it suits his own purposes.

If Trump continues to embarrass himself in front of the nation on a daily basis with his display of ignorance, mismanagement, and arrogance, his ploy to use these press briefings as a substitute for his raucous political rallies may backfire as he demonstrates exactly why he’s not worthy of another term so blatantly and frequently that it will only wind up damaging his electoral chances.

Perhaps the mainstream media’s latest strategy of cutting of its coverage of the press conferences when Trump begins to speak and spread his “alternative facts” — while helpful in preventing the dangerous spread of misinformation and false hopes — is ultimately misguided.

By simply giving Trump enough rope to hang himself with his words, the media may allow the president to talk himself out of a job more quickly than any Democratic opponent could present the case, no matter how eloquent and compelling their arguments may be. There’s no substitute for watching the trainwreck in person.

Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.

Original reporting by Daniel Dale at CNN and by Aaron Rupar at Vox.

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Vinnie Longobardo

Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile, & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.

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