If you ever wondered why President Donald Trump jettisoned doing Q & A’s from the White Housing briefing room in favor of press gaggles over by Marine One, now you know.
Judging by the questions asked of the president and members of the coronavirus task force by members of what used to be the august White House Press corps, it’s a wonder Trump doesn’t just put his hands up after a few questions, declare, “No mas,” and head back to work.
After a few questions to clarify announcements from the presser, the questions usually devolve into accusations and silly non-sequiturs.
On Wednesday, the accusatory question went something like this: ‘You are such a racist for calling it the Chinese virus. Don’t you feel like a racist for calling a virus from China a virus from China? Aren’t you ashamed to be a racist by calling the Chinese virus a Chinese virus? Don’t you have blood on your hands if someone blames Chinese-Americans for the virus from another country – China – and someone gets hurt because you’re such a racist?’
Recently, Twitter has been full of people yucking it up and eye-rolling that Trump’s team members at the COVID-19 news conferences are not practicing social distancing for the length of the news conferences. So this question to Trump over Congress members’ – and other governmental officials’ (hint) – socially distancing from team members was intended to bring it up. It backfired spectacularly.
“Members of Congress are now being tested positive for coronavirus and we – you – have almost two dozen self quarantining. Do you have guidance for Congress…?”
As soon as Trump started answering, no doubt the reporter wanted to take it back.
“I know all of them. I don’t know if they’re sitting like you people are sitting [later adding that they were self quarantining]. You’re actually sitting too close. We should probably get rid of about 75-80% of you. I have maybe two or three that I like in this room. I think that’s a great way of doing it. I’ve thought of a new way of doing it. You’re actually much too close. You two – you should leave.”
We know it’s a National Emergency, with capital letters and all, but, notwithstanding Trump’s hilarious answers, can we keep the press questions focused on how this nation will survive and dispense with the tertiary questions?