Furious US president lashes out at media; claims 'total' power to end lockdown

Updated: Apr 15, 2020, 08:19 IST | Agencies | Washington

According to Politico, Trump "fiercely defended" his administration's response to the Coronavirus at the briefing, complete with a campaign-ad-like video aimed at bolstering his case

United States President Donald Trump accuses the American media of giving unfair coverage to his fight against the Coronavirus pandemic, at a press conference on Monday. Pic/AFP
United States President Donald Trump accuses the American media of giving unfair coverage to his fight against the Coronavirus pandemic, at a press conference on Monday. Pic/AFP

A furious US President Donald Trump on Monday accused the American media of giving unfair coverage to his fight against the Coronavirus and played video clips appreciating his administration's efforts in containing the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in the country. "I mean, if you had libel laws, they (the media) would have been out of business even before they'll end up going out of business. So it's too bad," Trump told reporters during his White House news conference on Coronavirus. "We really have done this right. The problem is the press doesn't cover it the way it should be," he said. He alleged that several news outlets, including the New York Times, are biased.

"I have never seen a video like that playing in this room. It looks a bit like a campaign ad. Who produced a video for you?" he was asked by a reporter. "That was done by a group in the office and it was done just by — we just put some clips together. I bet I have over 100 more clips even better than them. They were just pieced together over the last two hours," Trump said. The Washington Post alleged that this was a campaign style video. According to Politico, Trump "fiercely defended" his administration's response to the Coronavirus at the briefing, complete with a campaign-ad-like video aimed at bolstering his case.

The US has over 5,50,000 confirmed cases of infections. It has recorded 1,509 deaths related to the pandemic over the past 24 hours, bringing the tally to 23,529, the most of any country. Trump, however, said the number of daily new infections remained flat nationwide over the weekend, sending clear evidence that the aggressive strategy to combat it is working. He insisted on easing restrictions by May and claimed that he has 'total authority' to take a call on lifting the restrictions that ends on April 30, according to reports. The Trump administration is considering easing the stay-at-home orders from May 1.

"We don't have a king. We have an elected president. The Constitution clearly says the powers that are not specifically listed for the federal government are reserved for the states, and the bounds between federal and state authority are central to the Constitution — one of the great balances of power," CNN quoted Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo as saying. So far, at least 1,21,787 people have died from the virus and 1,947,727 have tested positive.

1,509
Total no. of death recorded in the US in 24 hours

Trump denies plan to sack Fauci

Dr Anthony Fauci

Donald Trump has dismissed rumours that he was going to fire his top medical advisor on the pandemic. Unusually, the evening briefing at the White House began with a statement by the internationally renowned Dr Anthony Fauci, seeking to defuse speculation that he had fallen out with the Republican president. Trump, who on Sunday fuelled speculation by retweeting a critical comment with the hashtag #FireFauci, sought to draw a line under the latest White House turmoil. "I like him," he said of Fauci. "I hear I'm going to fire him. I'm not gonna fire him, I think he's a wonderful guy." But Trump then launched into a sustained assault on other targets, demonstrating his frustration with accusations that he has mishandled the crisis.

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