13 March 2020 - Trump’s speech about coronavirus: misinformation, travel ban and conservatism
A President Unequal to the Moment
Susan B. Glasser (The New Yorker, 12/03/2020)
Crises clarify. The bigger the crisis, the more the clarity, which is why the incompetence, dishonesty, and sheer callousness of the Trump Presidency have been clearer in recent days than ever before. As the coronavirus, as an official pandemic, spreads, the lives of Americans depend on the decisions made—or not made, as the case may be—by a President uniquely ill-suited to command in this type of public-health catastrophe. In that sense, the last few weeks may well have been the most clarifying of Donald Trump’s Presidency.
Trump’s coronavirus ban on travel from the EU is backfiring already
Jonathan Freedland (The Guardian, 12/03/2020)
Such is the reverse Midas touch of Donald Trump, that his attempt to face facts, steady nerves and reassure the public succeeded in spreading panic, sowing confusion and ratcheting up the anxiety.
The fact that Trump delivered a rare, live televised address to the nation should, by itself, have induced calm. It suggested that the president was moving out of fantasyland, abandoning the denial that had led him to promise a miracle was on the way and that the threat of coronavirus was likely to recede as soon as next month, when the weather got warmer. (As recently, he was saying, “It will go away, just stay calm.”) That he was ready to deploy one of the US presidency’s most powerful tools, usually reserved for moments of war or disaster – a TV address from the Oval Office – seemed to signal that he was, at last, facing reality.
Mr. President, Shut Up About Coronavirus
Jack Shaffer (Politico, 12/03/2020)
As a self-designated, one-man task force assigned to smother the shifting coronavirus wildfire, allow me to direct my first edict to the president of the United States: Mr. Trump, please stop talking about the virus.
Don’t comment on the number of cases or deaths. Stop congratulating yourself about what a good job you’re doing, and never, ever again claim that you’ve got things “well under control.” Never again compare this virus with the flu. Never again promise that a vaccine is arriving “pretty soon“ or that the virus “will go away,” as you repeatedly have, or that “it’s going to disappear.” Don’t blame the Democrats or the Obama administration or the press for your bungling of the crisis. Don’t say “anybody that wants a test can get a test,” because it isn’t true.
Most everything you’ve said about the virus has been wrong, inflammatory and dangerous. You think you’re making things better, but your steady spew of misinformation is confusing people and making the situation worse. Much worse. In your Wednesday night national broadcast, you stirred irrational fears with your words and your heebie-jeebie speaking style. The markets heard you clearly, which is why they promptly went into the swirly.
‘Disturbing In So Many Ways’: Conservatives Pan Trump’s Coronavirus Speech
Ed Mazza (The Huffington Post, 12/03/2020)
President Donald Trump’s speech about the steps he’s taking to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus received low marks on social media ― and not just from the left. Many conservatives also denounced the speech as a disaster.
Trump announced a ban on noncitizens arriving from Europe, called the disease a “foreign virus” and praised himself for “early, intense action” against the infection, despite a series of missteps by his administration, including a lack of testing.