Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) praised President Donald Trump‘s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and noted that since his briefings involved more medical experts, they have become “far more helpful.”

Asked by Bangor Daily News if misinformation coming from Trump’s daily coronavirus task force briefings could cause real harm, such as when he asserted in February that anyone who wanted to get a coronavirus test could, Collins took credit for making Trump involve more experts.

“First let me say that I was among many who advised the president to listen more closely to the excellent medical advisers that he has like Dr. Fauci and like Dr. Deborah Birx [the White House coronavirus response coordinator], and he has been doing that lately,” Collins replied. “And I think his daily press briefings have been far more helpful to the American people and that he has deferred in many cases to the experts who usually accompany him to those press briefings.”


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She added, “In the beginning, he was not involving the medical experts to the point that he should have. But now he is, and I think what we’ve seen is far more helpful and accurate information being disseminated.”

She noted Trump’s misleading comments early on “may have given some people a false sense of security,” but commended other actions he took.

“It may have given some people a false sense of security, but the president did a lot that was right in the beginning,” Collins said in early April. “For example, he acted very early to ban travel to China, and that was a move, an action that he took that undoubtedly saved lives.”

She continued, “I think in the beginning there were times when he was speaking about what he hoped would happen rather than relying on the data and information of his experts. That has changed, and I’m glad that it has.”

Collins’ approval rating has fluctuated with some of her controversial votes, including confirming Justice Brett Kavanaugh and acquitting Trump in the impeachment trial. However, since the coronavirus pandemic began, her approval has tanked.

A recent poll found that only 37% of voters approved of her, while 52% disapproved.

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