Friday afternoon, Donald Trump again addressed the ongoing issue with coronavirus. He'd previously addressed the nation in a televised address on Wednesday night, where he sketched out a number of policies, some of which were clarified (or corrected) in today's address from the White House Rose Garden. He also announced he'd be enacting the Stafford Act, enabling him to increase funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, also known as FEMA.
"To unleash the full power of the federal government in this effort today, I am officially declaring a national emergency," Trump said. "Two very big words. The action I am taking will open up access to $50 billion... for states and territories and localities in our shared fight against this disease."
Given that the Trump administration's approach to coronavirus has come under criticism in recent weeks, today was no exception. In particular, people have been openly critical of the fact that, after declaring a national emergency, the president brought out a number of corporate CEOs as part of the address.
It didn't take long before those criticisms found their way onto Twitter, believing the move was a bizarre edition to what should have been a serious matter.
Only Donald Trump could figure out how to mismanage a pandemic and turn it into a commercial for retail magnates.— Jon Zal (@OfficialJonZal) March 13, 2020
Veteran and outspoken Trump critic Jon Zal accused the president of mishandling a pandemic.
FACT: Donald Trump is using a World-wide crisis for his fellow fleecers from Wallstreet to promote their companies from the Rose Garden.March 13, 2020
Physician and lecturer Dr. Jack Brown pointed out that the whole ordeal felt like a hollowed-out commercial.
Mr. President have we reached out to Sonic or Cracker Barrel yet? Their CEO’s should be a part of this presser. I also think we deserve to hear from Game Stop. @realDonaldTrump— NoelCaslerComedy (@CaslerNoel) March 13, 2020
Comedian Noel Casler, meanwhile, jokingly wondered why there weren't more CEOs in the Rose Garden.
Donald Trump has turned the announcement of a national emergency into a corporate infomercial. This is truly insane.— Matt McDermott (@mattmfm) March 13, 2020
Pollster Matt McDermott was in utter disbelief at what he was witnessing.
Trump’s overall message is that corporate America is going to be what saves us from coronavirus. He’s outsourcing one of our greatest health crisis to dodge blame and make sure someone can make a fast buck off this.— Derek Cressman (@DerekCressman) March 13, 2020
Along with many others, author Derek Cressman observed that the whole thing looked like an obvious publicity stunt -- and spoke to Trump's ulterior motives.