Report: Trump's Time at the Virus Podium May Get Slashed

Axios reports that president is considering cutting frequency, duration of coronavirus press briefings
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 25, 2020 6:00 AM CDT
Report: There May Be a Pullback on Virus Pressers
President Trump listens as Dr. Deborah Birx speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House on Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

A day after a virus press briefing in which President Trump set off a firestorm with his supposedly sarcastic disinfectant comments, buzz began that we soon may not see too many of these briefings. Axios reports that Trump is said to be mulling having the pressers decrease in both frequency and duration, the latter mainly because the president himself would cut his time at the podium. One source notes it appears to have hit Trump that the briefings may be hurting him, which some of his advisers apparently agree with, believing he's appearing before the American people way too much in an often contentious environment—and that these appearances may be helping political rival and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

"I told him it's not helping him," one adviser tells the outlet. "Seniors are scared. And the spectacle of him fighting with the press isn't what people want to see." Forbes notes that his Friday press conference, the day after the disinfectant hubbub, "ended abruptly," and without the usual reporter Q&A. Per CNN, the presser, at 22 minutes, was the shortest of the pandemic (they sometimes stretch for more than two hours), with a source close to the coronavirus task force saying Trump had been bothered by all the "flak" he got over his disinfectant comments the previous day. The Hill reports neither Dr. Anthony Fauci nor Dr. Deborah Birx appeared at Friday's briefing, noting the briefings "have proven to be minefields" for medical experts like them as they try to deliver accurate, science-based info to the American public without getting Trump riled up. (More President Trump stories.)

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