President Donald Trump sparked some confusion after he claimed during his Monday coronavirus briefing that he has not "left the White House in months." The president made the claims during an exchange with PBS NewsHour White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor, who had initially asked Trump of how his own actions may reflect on his seriously he is taking the global pandemic.
TRUMP: I took coronavirus very seriously
ALCINDOR: You held rallies in February and March
TRUMP: I haven't left the White House in months
ALCINDOR: You held a rally in March
TRUMP: Did I hold a rally? I'm sorry pic.twitter.com/MPDK8lZAeD— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 20, 2020
Although the president was quick to state that he has saved "tens of thousands of lives" by introducing a number of travel restrictions as early as January, stating that he "acted very early" and "took it very seriously," Alcindor pointed out that he held campaign rallies in both February and March.
"Oh, I don't know about rallies. I really don't know about rallies. I know one thing. I haven't left the White House in months except for a brief moment to give a wonderful ship, the Comfort," Trump claimed, before Alcindor again stated that he held a rally in March. "I don't know. Did I hold a rally? I'm sorry. I hold a rally. Did I hold a rally? Let me tell you, in January, when I did this, we had virtually no cases and no deaths."
As CNN points out, however, the president has left the White House numerous times in recent months. Along with attending the sendoff of USNS Comfort, a hospital ship sent from Virginia to aid New York, Trump also held a campaign rally on March 2. He then visited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on March 6 after visiting the tornado ravaged areas of Middle Tennessee. That weekend, he spent the weekend at his Mar-a-Lago club and residence in Florida. On March 19, he visited the Federal Emergency Management Agency headquarters in Washington.
Still, the president has vowed to abide by his own social distancing guidelines. After extending his social distancing guidelines through the end of April, Trump announced during his March 31 briefing that he would be cancelling or postponing many of his scheduled outings. At the time, he pledged to "be in the White House" for the next month.
"I doubt I'll leave," he told reporters. "I'll be in the White House. And it's sort of like nerve center, control center. And I think it's important — you know, look, you see what happened with Boris Johnson, you see what happened with others. I think it's important that I remain healthy. I really do. So, for the most part, we're staying here. I've cancelled many different events, and we'll be staying here, for the most part."