Trump spent 27 times longer attacking enemies than expressing sympathy for victims, analysis of press conferences shows

Analysis of three weeks of White House briefings shows how Donald Trump has devoted time to rants and self-praise 

Gino Spocchia
Monday 27 April 2020 16:40 BST
Trump claims he was being sarcastic over comments about injecting disinfectants

Analysis of Donald Trump’s daily White House news briefings has shown that the US president spent more time praising himself and attacking his enemies than he did expressing sympathy for Covid-19 victims.

That comes as more than 55,000 Americans have now died from the Covid-19 disease – a death count bigger than any other nation.

According to the analysis, the president dedicated only 4.5 minutes out of 13 hours to offering condolences to American coronavirus victims.

Trump meanwhile devoted almost twice as much time to promoting the unproven antimalarial drug that Americans were ‘cautioned against’ using by the US Food and Drug Administration on Friday.

The president’s briefings also included two hours spent attacking others - some 27 times the time he spent apologising to victims - and 45 minutes praising himself and his administration, within 13 hours.

Overall, President Trump has spoken for more than 28 hours over the course of 35 briefings delivered from the White House since March 16.

In comparison, White House officials and members of the coronavirus task force – scientific experts among them – were on stage for 40 per cent of the time.

The analysis of three weeks of White House coronavirus briefings was carried out by the data analytics company and The Washington Post.

It comes after weeks of combative daily coronavirus briefings between White House reporters and the president.

On Saturday, the president’s criticism of media coverage came to a head as he suggested he would stop delivering the briefings following the widespread backlash against his suggestion on Thursday that Americans could inject themselves with disinfectant to weaken the coronavirus.

“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,” said Trump on Twitter.

He added on Saturday: “They get record ratings, & the American people get nothing but Fake News. Not worth the time & effort!”

Democrats maintain that Trump’s White House briefings have become akin to political rallies held by the president before the coronavirus pandemic.

“These press conferences are 10 minutes of information, if you’re lucky, and an hour and a half of self-congratulations and misinformation,” said Guy Cecil, chairman of Priorities USA, the largest Democratic super PAC, in comments to The Washington Post.

“It is the distillation of a Trump rally. It is the personification of a Trump rally,” added Cecil.

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