There will be no live Coronavirus press briefing on Monday. For the third day in a row, President Donald Trump will not speak to the nation about the ongoing pandemic.
The White House issued advice to reporters on Sunday that the live briefing would go ahead at 5pm ET the next day. But the event was abruptly cancelled on Monday morning.
The decision comes following widespread criticism of the President’s comments about disinfectant at Thursday’s briefing. Though Trump attempted to walk back his claims, there was global disbelief and mockery.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany told Fox News this was not an attempt to cut back on briefings. Though she also acknowledged Trump would play a smaller role.
“We’re looking at different ways to showcase this president leading,” McEnany said.
There has never been, in the history of our Country, a more vicious or hostile Lamestream Media than there is right now, even in the midst of a National Emergency, the Invisible Enemy!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 27, 2020
“The briefing is a key component of that. We will have briefings this week. But again, the media needs to not read into what’s happening and look at this as an opportunity for the President to speak to the American people.”
“Make no mistake, the president will be briefing the American people this week. Millions and millions tune in to watch him and see his leadership,” she said.
Trump will have press availability at 4pm ET following a meeting with industry leaders.
The decision to cancel today’s briefing has not been officially linked to disinfectant controversy but critics will see a connection. Trump had previously used the briefings as substitute rallies.
The President sent tweets on Monday attacking the press ahead of the cancellation.
“There has never been, in the history of our Country, a more vicious or hostile Lamestream Media than there is right now, even in the midst of a National Emergency, the Invisible Enemy!” he said.
Darragh Roche is a journalist covering U.S. politics and media