President Donald Trump has continued to hold press conferences throughout the coronavirus pandemic, and reporters are taking strong safety precautions even there. The journalists present at each day's briefing are spread out to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19 among them. The White House revealed photos of the layout on Twitter this weekend.
The official white House Twitter account posted a few different vantage points on the president's recent press briefings on Sunday. It showed reporters and other public officials spread out at least six feet apart throughout the room, meaning that only a handful of chairs would fit. However, along the back of room, camera operators and other people stood shoulder-to-shoulder in some cases. There, they wore face masks.
Photos from Trump's recent press briefings pick up a lot of notice online, as they gave a much different view than the televised events themselves. Many people responded with questions about the practices in place here, wondering which public health official had approved it. Others accused the White House of empty posturing with these photos.
The Trump administration as a whole is still taking heavy criticism for its handling of the coronavirus pandemic. On Monday, The Lincoln Project shared a new video called "Mourning in America," criticizing the president for the economic impact of the virus as well as the catastrophic loss of human life.
"There's mourning in America. Today more than 60,000 Americans have died from a deadly virus Donald Trump ignored. With the economy in shambles more than 26 million Americans are out of work, the worst economies in decades," the video's narrator says over footage of empty streets and packed hospitals.
Trump responded in a furious Twitter tirade, insisting that he had done well with the coronavirus pandemic, and saying that The Lincoln Project was "doing everything possible to get even for all their many failures."
Outbursts like this clash with more stately releases like the White House's press conference photos, and many Twitter users commented on the disparity. One user wrote: "If the 25th Amendment is not used when a deranged, utterly irrational POTUS tells Americans to ingest disinfectants to treat COVID-19, then what is its purpose?"
Opposition to the president's daily briefings has gotten so strong that some major networks are now refusing to air them in some cases. According to a report by Deadline, on April 13, both MSNBC and CNN cut away from the press briefing when Trump showed a pre-recorded video, which anchor Ari Melber called "some kind of backward-looking edited video propaganda." For the latest information on the coronavirus pandemic, visit the websites of the CDC and the World Health Organization.