Kellyanne Conway publicly urges Donald Trump to resume his daily coronavirus briefings to boost his sagging poll numbers – despite them being axed after he told people to inject bleach
Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway publicly urged President Trump to resume his coronavirus briefings to boost his sagging poll numbers.
‘The president’s numbers were much higher when he was out there briefing everybody on a day-by-day basis about the coronavirus, just giving people the information,’ Conway said Friday morning on ‘Fox & Friends.’ ‘I think the president should be doing that there.’
Trump had been given the opposite advice by now former Campaign Manager Brad Parscale and Republican National Committee Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel in late April and then stuck his foot in his mouth by suggesting the coronavirus could be fought by injecting disinfectants, proving his political advisers’ point.
Kellyanne Conway said on Fox News Channel and then repeated the advice to reporters outside the White House that President Trump should resume his coronavirus taskforce briefings to improve his standing in the polls
Kellyanne Conway said ‘it doesn’t have to be daily, it doesn’t have to be for two hours,’ but she argued that the president looked more in command of the COVID-19 crisis when he was personally delivering updates to the American people
President Trump largely stopped the briefings after April 23, when he suggested coronavirus could be treated by injecting disinfectants. The day before he was advised by then Campaign Manager Brad Parscale and RNC Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel that they were hurting his re-election chances
Dr. Deborah Birx, one of the members of the White House coronavirus taskforce, was memorably photographed as President Trump floated the idea of putting sunlight in the body or injecting disinfectants to cure coronavirus. He had misinterpreted a study about how the virus can be killed on surfaces
Parscale was removed from the top campaign job earlier this week.
Briefings were paused for nearly two months before, on June 26, the coronavirus taskforce was in front of cameras again.
They held a briefing led by Vice President Mike Pence at Health and Human Services Headquarters.
Trump did not participate.
Instead, the president has held events that were not entirely coronavirus-focused, such as a South Lawn speech dedicated to cutting regulations, which featured a blue and a red pick-up truck, with ‘weights’ being lifted out of the bed of the red truck. The blue – or Democratic one – stayed weighed down.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany was asked about it Thursday, with a reporter pointing out that none of Trump’s White House events this week were focused on the coronavirus.
‘The president is routinely focused on the coronavirus,’ McEnany replied. ‘I think you’ll be hearing more about what we’re doing in the coming week. He’s hard at work. We talk about COVID every day from this podium. The task force is hard at work.’
Conway argued Friday that Trump needed to be more front-and-center to make this messaging stick.
‘Well, I believe it because the pandemic continues and he’s done a solid job leading our country through it. His approval rating on the pandemic was higher when he was at the podium. It was at 51 per cent in March,’ Conway told reporters on the White House driveway.
By comparison, Wednesday’s Quinnipiac poll found that 62 per cent of registered voters said Trump was hurting efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.
‘I just think the people want to hear from the president of the United States,’ Conway continued. ‘It doesn’t have to be daily, it doesn’t have to be for two hours, but in my view it has to be.’
On Fox, she said that people had encouraged Trump to stop the briefings, though didn’t name names. She added during the gaggle, that ‘he’s not hesitant’ to hold them again. ‘But also his vice president, his No. 2, is the head of the coronavirus taskforce and is out there briefing.’
On Friday, Pence was traveling to Wisconsin to give a political speech on the ‘dangers of socialism and the extreme Sanders-Biden agenda,’ though has dedicated other recent travel to coronavirus-themed events.