President Donald Trump's latest briefing on coronavirus is, once again, drawing widespread criticism. On Monday, Trump began addressing the situation in the U.S. caused by the global pandemic, but it soon took an unusual turn, leaving some to question his ability to lead the government during a widespread crisis.
As CNN covered the briefing live, it included a number of on-screen documenting the president's increasingly abrasive candor, which included 'Angry Trump Turns Briefing Into Propaganda Session.' CNN's own Jim Acosta called it "the biggest meltdown of a president of the United States that I've ever seen in my career" moments after the briefing. He added that "I don't think a reasonable person could watch what we just saw over the last hour and conclude that the president is in control. He sounds like he is out of control."
CNN is fed up with Trump pic.twitter.com/r4KDYwf4xU— Joel Franco (@OfficialJoelF) April 13, 2020
Among the many critiques he and his administration have endured in the weeks since started disrupting daily life for American's everywhere, today's focused partly on his delayed reaction to the pandemic. For months, Trump attempted to downplay its seriousness, which some claim has helped lead to the U.S. becoming the country with the most confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the world. As of Monday, the CDC reports that there are 554,849 confirmed cases in the U.S., roughly one-quarter of the two million around the globe.
Trump also spoke about the need to "open up" the country once again, given that scores of businesses have been forced to close temporarily. While the social distancing guidelines are currently in place until April, per Trump's own administration, he has spoken about overriding state and local governments that have implemented more restrictive guidelines in an attempt to slow the spread of coronavirus.
"When somebody is the president of the United States, the authority is total," Trump said at the briefing. "And that's the way it's got to be."
On Sunday, Trump retweeted a post that called for the firing of Dr. Anthony Fauci, a member of Trump's coronavirus response team. While many considered this to be an indication that he was considering firing Fauci, given his tendency to refute several of the claims made by the president regarding the pandemic, The White House issued a statement on Monday indicating this was not the case.