President Donald Trump held his first coronavirus press briefing in weeks on Tuesday. And, unlike his typically positive predictions, he acknowledged that the pandemic will likely get worse before things get better.
For the first time in July, the US reported more than 1,000 coronavirus deaths in a single day. And President Trump appears to have changed his tune from his typically positive accounts of America’s coronavirus data trends. He acknowledged that the outbreak would get worse before widespread recovery.
“It will probably, unfortunately, get worse before it gets better,” he said, according to The New York Times. “Something I don’t like saying about things, but that’s the way it is.”
In his first coronavirus press briefing since April, Trump also took on a new stance regarding the wearing of masks. He acknowledged that masks are effective and that it would help mitigate the spread of the virus.
“Get a mask. Whether you like the mask or not, they have an impact. They will have an effect and we need everything we can get.”
It’s also noteworthy that Trump was not joined by Vice President Mike Pence, Dr. Birx or Dr. Fauci, key members of his White House coronavirus task force.
Trump’s briefing represents a massive change-up from his previous statements regarding masks as well as his dismissive comments about the serious nature of the pandemic, for which the US has by far the most cases and deaths in the world.
This change of tune is likely in response to his poor polling figures, which has him down by 8.6 points to his Democratic opponent in the 2020 presidential race, Joe Biden, according to RealClearPolitics. His disapproval rating is also just shy of 56%, while only 42% of Americans approve of the way he is running the country. Only 38.7% of Americans approve of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Most recent gaffes
Trump’s worst critics have highlighted his claims that Dr Fauci is a “little bit of an alarmist” in his controversial Fox News interview, which we reported on earlier this week.
Fauci defended himself on CNN, saying “People have their opinion about my reaction to things. I consider myself more of a realist than an alarmist.”
Trump also claimed that none of the individual states need any help with regards to handling the outbreak in their own jurisdictions, while Gov. Kate Brown of Oregon told PBS last night that “we need help with testing supplies and equipment” and Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland warned of testing shortages earlier on Tuesday.
Trump has also tweeted that wearing a face mask is “patriotic,” but did not explain why he didn’t wear one in public.
We are United in our effort to defeat the Invisible China Virus, and many people say that it is Patriotic to wear a face mask when you can’t socially distance. There is nobody more Patriotic than me, your favorite President! pic.twitter.com/iQOd1whktN
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 20, 2020