The same day that Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House Coronavirus Response coordinator, slammed exaggerated reporting on the potential fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, President Trump took aim at the left-leaning mainstream media, describing them as “the dominant force” behind keeping America “closed as long as possible.” The media’s driving motive, Trump suggested, is about politics, not protecting people.
“I think the numbers that have been put out there are actually very frightening to people,” Dr. Birx said during a press conference on Wednesday. “But I can tell you if you go back and look at Wuhan and Hubei and all of these provinces, when they talk about 60,000 people being infected, even if you said, alright, well there’s asymptomatics and all of that, so you get to 600,000 people out of 80 million. That is nowhere close to the numbers that you see people putting out there. I think it has frightened the American people.”
In a social media post Wednesday, Trump, who has been increasingly signaling that he wants to begin to reopen the economy sooner rather than later, attributed political motivations to the media’s “frightening” tactics.
The LameStream Media is the dominant force in trying to get me to keep our Country closed as long as possible in the hope that it will be detrimental to my election success. The real people want to get back to work ASAP. We will be stronger than ever before!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 25, 2020
The media and some Democrats continue to see this as an opportunity to harm Trump's reelection chances instead of an opportunity to bring the country together against a common enemy.
While Birx didn’t particularly call out the mainstream media in her comments Wednesday, she did make a point of generally debunking alarming claims circulating online and on television, which have included such claims as MSNBC’s Chris Hayes warning that the coronavirus could kill 1% of the U.S. population, or some 3.3 million people.