Donald Trump to re-up virus briefings amid lagging polls
President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday that Florida's vote-by-mail system is "Safe and Secure, Tried and True." Image via AP.

Donald Trump 2
Start Tuesday. No word if Deborah Birx or Anthony Fauci will appear.

President Donald Trump is set to once again take center stage in the government’s coronavirus response after a White House debate over how best to deploy its greatest and most volatile asset — him — played out in public as his poll numbers falter.

One week after a campaign shake-up, the plan is for Trump to again become a regular public presence at the podium starting Tuesday as confirmed coronavirus cases spike nationwide.

Trump advisers have stressed the urgency of the president adopting a more disciplined public agenda in an effort to turn around his lagging poll numbers against Democratic rival Joe Biden.

“I think it’s a great way to get information out to the public,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office on Monday, saying he hopes to discuss progress on vaccines and therapeutics. His once-daily turns behind the White House briefing room podium largely ended in late April after the president’s off-the-cuff suggestion that injecting toxic disinfectant could help treat the coronavirus.

In another sign of recalibration, Trump belatedly tweeted a photo of himself in a face mask Monday, calling it an act of patriotism, after months of resistance to being publicly seen in the coverings — deemed vital to slowing the spread of the virus — as a sign of weakness.

White House aides said the format, venue and frequency of the president’s forthcoming appearances haven’t been finalized. And it wasn’t clear whether he would field questions or share the stage with others, including Vice President Mike Pence and Drs. Deborah Birx or Anthony Fauci.

But it all pointed to an apparent course-reversal. Trump for months had heeded aides who pushed for him to all but ignore the virus and instead focus on the economy and more politically advantageous terrain.

Trump will use the briefings “to speak directly to the American people about the federal government’s coronavirus response and other pertinent issues,” said White House deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews.

The return to briefings has been championed in the West Wing by senior adviser Kellyanne Conway, who advocated publicly last week that Trump should return to the podium to more clearly highlight steps toward economic recovery but also create a stage to display leadership by addressing Americans’ concerns about COVID-19.

“His approval rating on the pandemic was higher when he was at the podium,” Conway said Friday, in a tacit admission of what is largely unspoken aloud by Trump aides: that he is behind in both public and private surveys. “It was at 51% in March. And I think people want to hear from the president of the United States.”

“It doesn’t have to be daily,” she added. “It doesn’t have to be for two hours. But in my view, it has to be.”

In addition to discussing medical developments, Trump also was expected to focus on his advocacy for schools to reopen for in-person education, following his threat to try to withhold federal funds from those that stick to remote education.

Other Trump aides have for months pushed the president to keep a lower profile on the virus response and instead champion the economic recovery and other issues with a clearer political upside. That camp, led by chief of staff Mark Meadows, has attempted to plot out something close to a traditional messaging strategy for Trump to contrast him with Biden on policy issues.

In the last week, they’ve organized White House events highlighting Trump’s efforts to support law enforcement, talk tough on China and roll back regulations, all while sharply criticizing Biden. And Trump himself has teased forthcoming moves on immigration and health care.

Meadows was among the most forceful White House aides in pushing Trump to end the once-daily coronavirus briefings more than two months ago after the president mused about injecting disinfectants as a cure for the virus. It sparked state medical warnings against the potentially deadly move.

The daily briefings were scrapped soon after that misstatement, fulfilling the hope of aides who saw them dragging down the president’s poll numbers, particularly with older voters.

But the president himself had not abandoned the idea of reviving them in some form, telling aides he missed the early evening window in which he would dominate cable television ratings. Tellingly, when he announced Monday that the news conferences could return, he did so with an eye toward its time slot.

The view in Trump’s circle is that the president needs an alternate means to reach voters with his trademark rallies largely on hold because of the coronavirus. The president voiced frustration in recent days about his inability to hold a rally, blaming Democratic governors in battleground states for not waiving COVID-19 restrictions on large gatherings.

“I want to get out there and do the rally as soon as we can,” Trump said Saturday on a call with Michigan supporters. “Between COVID and your governor’s restrictions, it really makes it very difficult, but we’ll be out there eventually. But in the meantime, we’re doing it telephonically.”

But there are few states that don’t have rising COVID-19 cases or stringent restrictions.

Even in states where Republican governors may be willing to lift restrictions, campaign advisers worry about surging infection rates that could dissuade supporters from attending a rally. A rally slated for New Hampshire, which has a low COVID-19 rate and a Republican governor, was scrapped in part because of fears of low attendance.

Instead, the campaign and White House are attempting to create alternate methods of holding events that could drive media coverage. Trump has recently taken to delivering more politically themed speeches from the Rose Garden and, in a recent trip to Florida, held an unofficial event at U.S. Southern Command and a campaign event with Venezuelan and Cuban immigrants. More trips of that nature are planned in the coming weeks.


Republished with permission from The Associated Press.

Associated Press


  • Ocean Joe

    July 20, 2020 at 9:23 pm



    July 20, 2020 at 9:35 pm

    How do you like Democrat Socialism? PORT, NY, CHI, ATL, WA, DC Minneapolis just to mention a few. All Democrat leadership doing the same thing…..nothing. Just like the third world isn’t it. Democrat Mayors ordering Police to stand down while the city is looted, burned. citizens beaten in the streets, monuments destroyed, police stations actually taken over and allowed to be occupied. The Governors do nothing as well. Antifa and BLM (founder is a Marxist) are the criminals behind this.

    Joe has recently stated that Police need to be defunded or “funds diverted.”If Joe Biden is elected America will be on fire.

    Biden wants to “transform America” If you vote for Joe Biden, you are voting for Bernie Sanders, or Elizabeth Warren’s far left platform.. Joe will follow the radical left’s agenda or Joe won’t get the support (and he is) of Nancy Pelosi, Val Demings, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Valerie Jarrett,. Rashida Talib, Stacy Abrams, Ayanna Pressley, Nancy Pelosi, Sheila Jackson Lee, Tom Perez, Maxine Waters, Al Green, and llhan Omar.

    This is the core of the socialists leftist wing of the Democrat party and are firmly in charge not old , confused

    Joe Biden will be a puppet to a liberal VP, Pelosi, Schumer, AOC plus 3 and the rest..

    Democrats want to make this election all about President Trump. NOT their platform & Goals and Joe Biden for obvious reasons.
    Democrat Platform & Goals:

    *Citizenship for 20 to 50 million illegal aliens, DACA, TPS recipients and their families with a cost of billions.

    *Massive tax increases. All Democrat candidates have committed to tax increases of various amounts. Biden has stated he will raise taxes.

    *Sanctuary Cities & States. Joe Biden supports sanctuary cities.

    *Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Green new deal.(which would create massive unemployment, 100,000 jobs estimated in the transportation industry alone.) Joe Biden supports.

    *De-fund & terminate border patrol & ICE.

    *De-fund Police. “re-imagine law enforcement” (the left’s new term.) Basically BLM is determining where your taxes go and it’s not to law enforcement. Biden recently stated his endorsement of “redirecting law enforcement finds.”

    *Free Healthcare for Illegal aliens, DACA, TPS recipients (taxpayer funded with one estimate at 52 trillion) Joe Biden endorsed.

    *Ending of all private / employer based health care. “Medicare for all”, Feds run everything.

    *Illegal Aliens eligible for welfare & food stamps. (Elizabeth Warren’s plan adopted) Endorsed by Biden.

    *Reparations for race’s harmed by Caucasians. Joe Biden committed to support Sheila Jackson Lee’s reparations bill in the House. Basically a tax will be levied on all Caucasians in America. (you can’t make this stuff up)

    *Free college for all, including illegal aliens (taxpayer funded with estimates in the billions. Bernie Sanders plan adopted.

    *Decriminalization of illegal entry into our country.

    *Open Borders.

    *End all deportations of illegal aliens, if you get here, you stay. Bernie’s website calls it a “moratorium” on deportations.

    *Drivers Licenses for illegal aliens (already happening in states with Democrat leadership. Biden endorsed

    *Late term abortions up to 9 months.

    * Destruction and erasing our history.

    • BlueHeron

      July 20, 2020 at 11:44 pm

      I’ve seen this comment everywhere.
      Glad you got the memo.
      Thanks for sharing.

  • Sonja Fitch

    July 22, 2020 at 7:45 am

    Lol paranoid delusional racist sexist RAPIST traitor trump was asked about the pedophile mistress Maxwell! Yep the pedophile mistress Maxwell that supplied RAPIST trump with the 14 year old girl! The filth and perversion of creepy trump will stick to the Republicans for a long time! Yeah Desantis,Curry Gaetz, Rubio and Scott you smell like the filthy pervert trump!

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704