Udayavni Special

Trump accuses American media for misinformation on COVID 19


PTI, Apr 14, 2020, 12:16 PM IST

Washington: Accusing the American media of giving unfair coverage to his fight against the COVID-19, a combative US President Donald Trump came out with videos and news reports appreciating his administration’s efforts in containing the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

“I mean, if you had libel laws, they (the media) would have been out of business even before they’ll end up going out of business. So it’s too bad,” Trump told reporters during his White House news conference on COVID-19.

“We really have done this right. The problem is the press doesn’t cover it the way it should be,” he said.

He stunned the media by showing several clippings, including video footage, which he said was a reflection of the great work that he has been doing in this war against the health crisis and alleged that several news outlets, including The New York Times are biased and not giving him a fair coverage.

“We have hundreds of statements including from Democrats and Democratic governors,” Trump said that at the end of the presentation that went on for a few minutes.

Several media outlets, including the CNN and the MSNBC decided not to show those dramatic moments of the White House press conference live. They went back to the briefing room after that.

“I have never seen a video like that playing in this room. It looks a bit like a campaign ad. Who produced a video for you?” he was asked by a reported.

“That was done by a group in the office and it was done just by we just put some clips together. I bet I have over 100 more clips even better than them. They were just pieced together over the last two hours. We have far better than that,” Trump said.

Responding to a question, Trump said that he felt the need of it, because he was getting fake news and he would like to have it corrected.

“They are saying what a great job we are doing these are the governors of California, governor of New Jersey, governor of New York,” he said, adding that his team put out these clips.

“All they did was took some clips and they just ran them for you and the reason they did is to keep you honest and I don’t think that’s going to work, it’s not going to have any impact but just think of it. You heard the clips, you heard what I said,” he said.

“They said I acted light on closing down the country. Some people wish we never closed it down. Now if we didn’t we would have lost hundreds of thousands of people. You know interestingly I’m against it but did the right thing. Everything we did was right,” Trump said.

The Washington Post alleged that this was a campaign style video.

“Trump’s self-promotion, falsehoods and use of dodgy medical advice in these coronavirus briefings have led to a dialogue about whether networks should carry them live. And on Monday, he seemed to be daring all of them to stop, turning the whole thing into a spectacle of government-produced propaganda and even more personal score-settling and grievances,” the daily reported.

“Most notable was the video that was played,” The Washington Post said.

“In it, media figures were shown early in the outbreak comparing the virus to the seasonal flu, as Trump has been criticized for doing much later on. Other clips played up the impact of his ban on travel from China, while yet more showed Trump personally making pronouncements about the steps he was taking even at a time he was repeatedly and much more strongly downplaying the threats of the virus,” the daily reported.

According to Politico, Trump fiercely defended his administration’s response to the coronavirus during the briefing, complete with a campaign-ad-like video aimed at bolstering his case.

“The elaborate and, by public service standards, remarkable production came after a weekend when the president’s coronavirus task force held no briefings, which are meant to serve as updates for the public on the unfolding pandemic that has infected hundreds of thousands of Americans and killed tens of thousands,” Politico reported.

The United States has more than 550,000 confirmed cases of the deadly coronavirus. It has recorded 1,509 deaths related to the pandemic over the past 24 hours, bringing the tally at 23,529, the most of any country.

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