US President Donald Trump has said that his daily coronavirus press briefings are not worth his “time and effort” as the “lamestream” media asks nothing but “hostile” questions, days after he faced intense rebuke for suggesting the possibility of treating COVID-19 patients by UV light or disinfectant injections.
Trump faced scathing criticism on Thursday for his outlandish suggestion, with health experts urging people not to listen to the President”s “dangerous” advice.
After more than a month of daily coronavirus press briefings, Trump stayed behind closed doors on Saturday, hinting that he was considering halting the White House briefings.
Trump took to Twitter about 45 minutes later, addressing the topic of his briefings.
“What is the purpose of having White House News Conferences when the Lamestream Media asks nothing but hostile questions, & then refuses to report the truth or facts accurately,” the president tweeted.
“They get record ratings, & the American people get nothing but Fake News. Not worth the time & effort!” he said.
Trump’s remarks came the president’s controversial comments on Thursday during a press conference where he suggested the possibility of treating coronavirus patients by hitting their bodies with light or disinfectant injections.
The comments garnered national attention and Trump came under heavy fire from health experts elected officials and private companies who warned Americans not to ingest chemicals.
Former Food and Drug Administration head Scott Gottlieb said there was “no circumstance” in which an individual should inject themselves with a disinfectant.
The company that makes Lysol also warned on Friday against ingesting its products.
Trying to wriggle out of the backlash he received for his outlandish suggestions, Trump on Friday said that he was being sarcastic.
“I was asking a sarcastic — and a very sarcastic question — to the reporters in the room about disinfectant on the inside,” he said.
The White House sought to pin the backlash on the media, issuing a statement that accused the press of taking Trump”s remarks out of context.
“President Trump has repeatedly said that Americans should consult with medical doctors regarding coronavirus treatment, a point that he emphasised again during yesterday”s briefing,” press secretary Kayleigh McEnany was quoted as saying by The Hill.
Beginning in March, Trump and Vice President Pence have given almost 50 daily press briefings to update the country on the administration”s ongoing response to the coronavirus pandemic that has killed over 53,000 people in the US. PTI MRJ
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines