After enjoying a slight bump in the polls last week, President Trump’s approval rating and handling of the coronavirus crisis have taken a beating in a new pro-Trump poll which led him to lash out at opponents today.
Trump showed reporters a White House-produced video during today’s briefing in an attempt to shame the New York Times for critical coverage of his coronavirus response.
‘So the story in the New York Times is a total fake, it’s a fake newspaper and they write fake stories. And someday, hopefully in five years when I’m not here, those papers are all going out of business because nobody’s going to read them,’ Trump told the reporters in the room.
ABC News’ Jonathan Karl told Trump that he’d never seen what looked to be a ‘campaign’ style video played in the White House briefing room.
The Hatch Act prohibits the president from actively campaigning at the White House.
Trump, during his diatribe, brought up Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, several times, claiming the former vice president had called the president ‘xenophobic’ for cutting off travel from China.
Biden, according to Politifact.com, never made that direct statement.
Karl asked Trump who produced the video for the president.
‘That was done by a group in the office and it was done by … we just put some clips together,’ Trump explained. ‘I could give you, I’ll bet you I have 100 more clips. They were just pieced together over the last two hours.’
Trump then identified Scavino and his team as who put the clips together.
Amid Trump’s Press Briefing meltdown, CBS Reporter Paula Reid asked Trump:
Amid Trump’s #PressBriefing meltdown, CBS Reporter Paula Reid asked Trump:
“Tens of thousands of Americans are dead… How is this rant supposed to make people feel confident in an unprecedented crisis?”
Trump responds with more egomaniacal ramblings. pic.twitter.com/nLtOJ0pTMf
— Rantt Media (@RanttMedia) April 13, 2020
One of the reasons for Trump’s foul mood could be that his favorite survey, the Republican-leaning Rasmussen daily tracking poll, showed his approval rating has dropped four points in a matter of days.
The last time Trump was above water in that poll was Feb. 27, when his approval was at 52 percent.
But he began this week with a -5 point net unfavorability, and finishes it nine points underwater with 44 percent approving and 53 percent disapproving.
Trump also insisted today that the call on when to reopen the country and the economy will be ‘soon’ and a ‘decision by me’ – hours before governors in some of the worst-hit areas for coronavirus flatly contradicted him and unveiled their own multi-state pacts to co-ordinate their comebacks.
On the east coast the governors of six states led by New York formed one pact, and all three west coast states announced their own agreement to come up with a framework on how and when to re-open.
All nine governors are Democratic and include Gavin Newsom of California and Andrew Cuomo of New York, both of whom have seen their ratings soar during their handling of the crisis.
Pointedly, the governors on both coasts said that ‘public health’ was their leading priority.
Coronavirus is ten times deadlier than the 2009 swine flu pandemic and a vaccine will be needed to halt it, the World Health Organisation has said.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual briefing from Geneva the organisation was constantly learning about the bug sweeping the globe.
The incredibly contagious infection has now killed nearly 115,000 people and seen over 1.8 million cases globally.
Tedros said: ‘We know that Covid-19 spreads fast, and we know that it is deadly, ten times deadlier than the 2009 flu pandemic.’