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article imageOp-Ed: Trump using Covid-19 crisis to push political agenda

By Karen Graham     Apr 7, 2020 in Politics
A president commands a formidable platform when the nation is under threat - and the coronavirus pandemic has been a perfect backdrop for President Donald Trump's daily campaign rally disguised as a coronavirus Task Force update.
Even since Mar 11, two days after he canceled his last campaign rally - Trump showed up in the Rose Garden for the first of 24 daily news conferences. Even though he had done away with the daily press briefings, he suddenly realized he could do them himself, getting his message out the way he wanted it heard.
“From a purely political standpoint, he can be seen as the commander in chief for up to two hours a day, leading the country through this crisis,” Sean Spicer, the president’s former press secretary, told The Atlantic. “In this case,” Joe Biden, Trump’s presumptive general-election opponent, “is left on the sidelines.”
Watching Trump use the daily Task Force press briefings as a bully-pulpit has become a regular part of daily life for millions of Americans - forced to stay indoors - with nothing else to do but watch our commander-in-chief, flanked by Vice-president Mike Pence, Dr. Anthony Fauci, a much-admired public-health expert, and others - many of questionable authority when it comes to public health.
Instead of letting Mike Pence, Dr. Fauci, and Dr. Deborah Birx update the public on what is happening nationwide with the COVID-19 crisis, Trump literally takes over the press conference, not for 30 minutes, which is more than enough time to make a point, but for as long as two hours - starting out in a supposedly serious monotone to add to the brevity of the situation.
The longer he talks, the more openings he gets to distract from the messy government response he created or to skewer his foes. And he has skewered a bunch of people - from Joe Biden, his political opponent, to governors, reporters and anyone else who does not accept his message.
US President Donald Trump warned Americans to expect a "tough week" ahead
US President Donald Trump warned Americans to expect a "tough week" ahead
JIM WATSON, AFP
Trump's latest victim is Christi Grimm, the Inspector General who found widespread shortages of personal protective equipment, critical supplies, and testing in a spot survey of 323 hospitals and health systems. When a reporter asked about the survey, Trump belittled the reporter and fixated on Grimm's name, wrongly suggesting that the report was Grimm’s “opinion,” and that she was an Obama appointee.
And speaking of opinions, it seems that Trump is full of them, touting his opinions as if they were factual. Have you wondered why Trump has been promoting the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine? Over the past two weeks, Trump and his Fox News allies have aggressively promoted hydroxychloroquine as a potential cure, despite top infectious-disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci and others urging caution.
Actually, it has come out that the president’s family trusts all have investments in a mutual fund whose largest holding is Sanofi, the manufacturer of Plaquenil, the brand-name version of hydroxychloroquine.
The bottom line in all this? I, and a lot of other people are tired of looking at Trump's mug taking up valuable time every day when we all could be getting a factual update on the public health crisis in this country. Instead, we are fed lies, half-truths and partisan politics by an egomaniac who still thinks the crisis is all about him.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
More about coronavirus, supply shortages, bully pulpit, Trump, Campaigning
 
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