Trump Press Briefing Meltdown: Claims ‘Total Authority’ Over States, Shows Campaign-Style Video
President Donald Trump had a televised meltdown on Monday, claiming total authority as president and playing a video montage in an attempt to prove that media played down the potential severity of the coronavirus outbreak early on.
The fit was likely in response to a New York Times report published on Saturday headlined, “He Could Have Seen What Was Coming: Behind Trump’s Failure on the Virus.” The article states Trump “was warned about the potential for a pandemic … [but] internal divisions, lack of planning and his faith in his own instincts led to a halting response.”
Trump began by showing a montage of TV news clips to reporters in the briefing room in an attempt to show that the outlets were equally guilty of trivializing the issue in January, February and early March.
That was INSANE!
Trump just used a #PressBriefing about a deadly pandemic to play an election campaign video filled with false propaganda telling people that Trump acted fast enough. Even though he tweeted that Coronavirus wasn’t as bad as the flu on THE NINTH OF MARCH! pic.twitter.com/Qr3q7IjTT0
— Femi (@Femi_Sorry) April 13, 2020
White House memos written as early as Jan. 29 which said the virus could cost nearly $6 trillion and could kill over 500,000 called for “an immediate travel ban on China.”
While Trump did enact a travel ban on China on Jan. 31, he continued to claim that the virus would go away “like a miracle” up until the end of February.
During the Monday briefing, Trump refused to take responsibility for any mistakes in handling the coronavirus pandemic, despite not sending the requested amount of personal protective equipment to states, sending states faulty ventilators and claiming the virus was Democrats’ “new hoax.”
As of Tuesday morning, the U.S. has over 600,000 reported cases and more than 25,000 deaths — the majority of which are in New York.
After the video showing, Trump asserted his power over governors who may plan to slow social distancing requirements at a different pace than the federal government.
“When somebody is the president of the United States, the authority is total,” Trump said at one point. “And that’s the way it’s gotta be. It’s total.”
Governors do, in fact, have broad authority to shut down schools and businesses, as well as respond to public health emergencies.
When a reporter asked who told him he has total authority, Trump responded: “Enough.”
Watch Trump tells this Reporter, “Enough” after she asks Trump who told him that he has “Total Authority”.
— Peter Morley (@morethanmySLE) April 13, 2020