Trump Jokes About Coronavirus Minutes After First U.S. Death In Washington State
President Donald Trump tried to placate the public’s fears about the coronavirus by utilizing humor and placing himself at the center of the international epidemic Wednesday at a spur-of-the-moment press conference.
Trump made sarcastic quips about his germaphobia and shared an account of a personal encounter with a sick friend.
The president also playfully waved around technicolor graphs, filled with statistics, and shared facts that he had just learned about the common flu to mitigate the fears of Americans further.
“The risk to the American people remains very low,” Trump said.
The White House plans to utilize $2.5 billion to combat the virus. Lawmakers are requesting around $8.5 billion.
Trump’s performance entertained Oval Office staff members throughout the conference, as he downplayed the seriousness of the outbreak.
The president discussed the few cases present in the U.S. – which were all contracted from traveling abroad.
Minutes later, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced first U.S. death in Washington state.
Trump used the press conference to blame the press and 2020 Democrats for alarm over the disease.
Trump has appointed Vice President Mike Pence to coordinate the U.S. government’s response to the virus.
The U.S. now has at least 80 confirmed cases nationwide.