The Journal editorial said that the briefings had become “a boring show of the president vs. the press.” That triggered Trump, who tweeted on Thursday afternoon, “The Wall Street Journal always “forgets” to mention that the ratings for the White House Press Briefings are “through the roof” (Monday Night Football, Bachelor Finale, according to @nytimes) & is only way for me to escape the Fake News & get my views across. WSJ is Fake News!”
Trump has previously boasted about the ratings that have been generated by the nightly briefings, which have started with his opening statement, questions from the press, and then statements from Vice President Mike Pence and the Coronavirus Task Force. The next briefing is scheduled to start on Thursday at 6 PM ET.
But after Trump’s tweet, Hume, senior political analyst for Fox News Channel, responded, “This is a ridiculous tweet. He could get his views across without bragging, endlessly repeating himself, and getting into petty squabbles with the junior varsity players in the WH press corps. And he could stop talking much sooner to give Pence, Fauci, Birx and Giroir more time.”
Hume, former chief White House correspondent for ABC News, has been questioning the coronavirus modeling figures being cited by Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx and whether the latest revisions can be attributed to more Americans practicing social distancing measures, ones that have led to mass closures and the shutdown of U.S. businesses. Models presented last week showed an estimated 100,000 to 240,000 deaths from the coronavirus even if social distancing measures were followed. But this week, those figures were revised downward to 60,000 deaths.
Hume also has questions whether number of reported coronavirus deaths are in fact inflated, in part because they have other serious illnesses.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, a member of the White House task force, on Wednesday dismissed those concerns, calling them “conspiracy theories” and “distractions.”
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