Lindsey Graham leads calls for Trump to stop his daily briefings in favor of a ‘once-a-week show’ because they are hurting him – and urge the president to let Dr. Fauci and the experts take center stage instead
- President Trump is hurting his image at daily press briefings, Republicans say
- They have urged him to let medical experts take center stage to give updates
- Senator Lindsey Graham said Trump ‘sometimes drowns out his own message’
Republican allies of Donald Trump say his daily briefings are hurting his image and have urged him to let medical experts take center stage instead.
The President has been giving daily updates on coronavirus as the country’s death toll and infection rate continues to soar.
Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said Mr Trump ‘sometimes drowns out his own message’ and said a ‘once-a-week show’ could be more effective.
US President Donald Trump speaks during the daily briefing on the novel coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, in the Brady Briefing Room at the White House on April 9
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci attends the daily coronavirus briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on April 9
Rep. Susan Brooks said ‘they’re going on too long’ while Senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia said the briefings were ‘going off the rails a little bit’.
Others were concerned that Trump was shifting the focus away from the health crisis and was instead more interested in ratings and slamming his political opponents.
Senator Lindsey Graham told the President ‘your opponent is no longer Joe Biden — it’s this virus,’ the New York Times reported.
With one eye firmly on his November reelection prospects, Trump has been accused at times of bristling against tough public health recommendations and has urged a rapid restart to the nation’s economy.
Senator Lindsey Graham said Mr Trump ‘sometimes drowns out his own message’ and said a ‘once-a-week show’ could be more effective
Trump on Monday stopped Dr. Tony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, from answering a question about the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine in treating the coronavirus as he tried to push a more hopeful message about the pandemic.
‘You know how many times he’s answered that question: 15 times,’ Trump told CNN reporter Jeremy Diamond, who tried to question Fauci.
‘You don’t have to answer that question,’ the president told the doctor. And then he turned back to Diamond. ‘He’s answered that question 15 times.’
Trump is accused of trying to drown out Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, and has attempted to blame the former vice president for bureaucratic failures.
White House spokesman Judd Deere came to the defense of the President. ‘Any suggestion that President Trump is struggling on tone or message is completely false,’ he said.
U.S. President Donald Trump arrives with Vice President Mike Pence to lead the daily coronavirus task force briefing at the White House, April 9
‘During these difficult times, Americans are receiving comfort, hope and resources from their president, as well as their local officials, and Americans are responding in unprecedented ways.’
Trump allies point to the president’s actions – such as suspending direct flights with China and, later, Europe – as measures that kept the nation safe and said that his brashness and sense of urgency have improved the response by both the government and the private sector.
‘A big part of the reason why President Trump was elected was to be that bull in the china shop, to take those brash, declarative actions,’ said Jason Miller, Trump’s 2016 campaign communications director.
Trump predicted on Thursday that deaths from the coronavirus in the United States will be much lower than 100,000 as he predicted the economy was on track to reopen.
‘You are looking at a much lower level than the level of, I hope the level of 100,000,’ he said at the daily White House briefing on Thursday.
There have been more than 15,000 deaths in the U.S. with over 436,000 people infected.