Trump cans press briefing accusing media of asking hostile questions – Times of India

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WASHINGTON: Accusing the media of asking hostile questions and claiming he never said the coronavirus was a hoax even though video footage exists of him saying it, US President Donald Trump has canned his daily press briefing saying it is “not worth the time & effort.”
“I never said the pandemic was a Hoax! Who would say such a thing? I said that the Do Nothing Democrats, together with their Mainstream Media partners, are the Hoax. They have been called out & embarrassed on this, even admitting they were wrong, but continue to spread the lie!” Trump raged in a couple of tweets in which he said the “lamestream media … refuses to report the truth of facts accurately.”
The President ire was evidently sparked by the debacle following Thursday’s briefing in which he wondered if disinfectants and ultraviolet rays could be injected or introduced inside the human body to kill the coronavirus. Despite the serious tone in which he addressed the questions to his aides, Trump later claimed, amid global ridicule, that he was being sarcastic, while his press aides rushed to do damage control, accusing the media of taking the remarks out of context.
But with the White House’s own transcript and video footage available to establish the tone and authenticity, the US President became a laughing stock in US and across the world with hashtags such as #disinfectants and #bleach trending. Even his own supporters in the media recoiled in horror.
The embarrassment was compounded by disinfectant companies issuing salutary warnings asking people not to consume bleach, and scientists and physicians across the country reacting with shock. The day also ended with the administration’s own drug czars issuing a warning against use of hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malaria drug that Trump had insisted could be a “game changer” in the war against the coronavirus even though his advisors were visibly more cautious.
The self-inflicted fiasco apparently did not sit well with the US President who has an outsized image of his own brilliance evident in declarations that he is a “stable genius.” Amid a rumble of discontent in his own party that the daily briefings were becoming a farce, Friday’s briefing lasted only 25 minutes with no questions taken, compared to the more than two hours he held forth each day earlier in the week. On Saturday he canned it altogether, choosing to rage against the media on Twitter.
What was galling for many critics was that Trump had begun to use the briefing as a substitute for his campaign rallies, talking over and overshadowing the experts who were invited to the White House lectern. According to data analytics companies cited in the US media, the President has spoken for more than 28 hours in the 35 briefings held since March 16, eating up 60 percent of the time that officials spoke.
Trump has also attacked someone in 113 out of 346 questions he has answered and has offered false or misleading information in nearly 25 per cent of his remarks, according to the analysis. The most frequent target of Trump’s attacks during the briefings was Democrats (48 times, over roughly 30 minutes), followed by the media (37 times, over roughly 25 minutes); the nation’s governors (34, over 22 minutes); and China (31 times, over nearly 21 minutes).
All this has been interspersed with relentless self-praise and self-aggrandizement, including playing propaganda videos and boasting about the ratings of the press briefings, often comparing them to that of reality shows. Over the past three weeks alone, Trump is reported to have logged more than 13 hours of speaking, including two hours spent on attacks and 45 minutes praising himself and his administration, but just 4½ minutes expressing condolences for coronavirus victims.
The US toll now stands at over 54,000 dead with cases across the country heading towards a million.

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