Coronavirus: Trump again tries to blame ‘dangerous and corrupt’ media as crisis escalates

Chris Riotta
Reuters

Donald Trump has once again attacked the media in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, claiming the mainstream American press is “dangerous” and “corrupt” as the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases skyrockets in the US.

“So much of the Lamestream Media is writing and broadcasting stories with facts that are made up and knowingly wrong,” the president tweeted on Saturday morning. “They are doing it by quoting unnamed sources that simply do not exist.”

He went on to claim: “These are very dangerous & corrupt people, who will do anything to win. NAME YOUR SOURCES!”

The president continued to rant against the media in a series of tweets on Saturday morning, as official estimates placed the country’s total coronavirus cases at more than 104,000. Analysts predict those numbers would only continue to surge in the weeks to come, as more testing is done across the country.

He claimed journalists have become “so prevalent” by allegedly making up sources “in order to totally distort a narrative or story” and added: “Lamestream Media should be forced to reveal sources, very much as they did in the long ago past.”

He wrote: “If they did that, the media would be trusted again, and Fake News would largely be a thing if the past!”

Mr Trump has held multiple press conferences in recent days in which he has lambasted the media for its coverage of the coronavirus pandemic and governors who were — in his view — not “appreciative” of the administration’s efforts to battle the spread of the novel virus.

The president said on Friday he had encouraged Vice President Mike Pence not to call certain governors, including Washington’s Jay Inslee, who he said was frequently “complaining” about the White House response to the pandemic.

The vice president “calls all the governors”, Mr Trump said, “And I tell him, I’m a different type of person, and I say, ’Mike, don’t call the governor of Washington. you’re wasting your time with him.”

The Washington governor responded with a tweet of his own, writing: “I’m not going to let personal attacks from the president distract me from what matters: beating this virus and keeping Washingtonians healthy.”

Congress has meanwhile passed a historic $2tn economic stimulus bill which includes direct payments to most Americans as experts warned the country was already facing a recession and could head into a potential depression as the pandemic continues shutting society down in states throughout the US.

The president has also invoked the Defence Production Act and compelled General Motors on Friday to begin producing ventilators as hospitals nearing capacity on the front lines of the crisis in New York say they are facing a severe shortage of the life-saving medical tool used to treat patients with respiratory issues — one of the major symptoms of Covid-19.

Earlier that morning, the president attacked GM on Twitter, writing: “As usual with ‘this’ General Motors, things just never seem to work out.”

“They said they were going to give us 40,000 much needed Ventilators, ‘very quickly,’” he added. “Now they are saying it will only be 6000, in late April, and they want top dollar.”

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