President Trump ripped into a Wall Street Journal editorial titled “Trump’s Wasted Briefings,” that called out his repeated attacks on the press, governors and his critics during his daily White House coronavirus briefings as “off-key” given the severity of the pandemic that has killed thousands of people in the U.S.
“A friend of ours who voted for President Trump sent us a note recently saying that she had stopped watching the daily White House briefings of the coronavirus task force. Why? Because they have become less about defeating the virus and more about the many feuds of Donald J. Trump,” the Journal’s editorial board wrote Wednesday.
“The briefings began as a good idea to educate the public about the dangers of the virus, how Americans should change their behavior, and what the government is doing to combat it,” the editorial continued. “They showed seriousness of purpose, action to mobilize public and private resources, and a sense of optimism. Mr. Trump benefitted in the polls not because he was the center of attention but because he showed he had put together a team of experts working to overcome a national health crisis.”
The Journal’s editorial board urged the president to cede center stage at the briefings to Vice President Mike Pence and his top health officials, who have regularly appeared at the briefings but have primarily waited to provide updates until the president delivers his own remarks.
Trump responded by disparaging the newspaper as “Fake News” and bragging about how high his TV ratings are, even as the US death toll continued to rise on Thursday.
“The Wall Street Journal always ‘forgets’ to mention that the ratings for the White House Press Briefings are ‘through the roof’ (Monday Night Football, Bachelor Finale, according to @nytimes) & is only way for me to escape the Fake News & get my views across. WSJ is Fake News!” Trump tweeted.
The Wall Street Journal always “forgets” to mention that the ratings for the White House Press Briefings are “through the roof” (Monday Night Football, Bachelor Finale, according to @nytimes) & is only way for me to escape the Fake News & get my views across. WSJ is Fake News!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 9, 2020
Trump has repeatedly bragged about his TV ratings on Twitter and during his recent daily briefings.
As of Thursday afternoon, 16,510 people have died in the US from COVID-19.