US President Donald Trump has hinted that he could cancel his daily coronavirus press briefings after facing backlash for his remarks that the disease could be treated by injecting disinfectant.
“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,” Trump tweeted on Saturday.
“They get record ratings, & the American people get nothing but Fake News. Not worth the time & effort,” he added.
This follows the President’s controversial comments during the White House daily COVID-19-related briefing on Thursday, where he proposed looking into the possibility of treating the disease by injecting disinfectant into the human body, reports Efe news.
On Friday, Trump tried to defend himself by saying at the Oval Office that he had made these comments as a “sarcastic question to the reporters” and soon after he appeared at the coronavirus press briefing but he closed abruptly without taking any questions from the media as is the norm.
In his tweets on Saturday, Trump seemed to go back on the remarks he had made the previous day.
“Remember, the Cure can’t be worse than the problem itself. Be careful, be safe, use common sense,” he wrote.
The New York Poison Control Center received 30 calls on Friday for exposure to bleach, Lysol and disinfectant shortly after Trump’s remarks.
In another tweet on Saturday, Trump stressed that he had “never said the pandemic was a Hoax”.
“Who would say such a thing? I said that the Do Nothing Democrats, together with their Mainstream Media partners, are the Hoax. They have been called out & embarrassed on this, even admitting they were wrong, but continue to spread the lie,” he ranted.
Following the controversy over his comments, rumours have begun circulating that Trump is considering stopping the daily briefings, which have become the closest thing he has to the rallies he used to connect with his voters before the crisis.
According to Axios, Trump is considering stopping holding daily briefings and may appear before the press only when there are “victories” to announce.
Several of his advisers have told him that the daily “spectacle of him fighting with the press isn’t what people want to see” and that these briefings are part of the reason the polls do not favour him in the presidential contest against the likely Democratic candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden, in the November elections, according to Axios.