Abrupt end to a press conference: After an argument with a reporter, Donald Trump left a briefing at the White House. The journalist asked why it was important to him that the USA did better than other countries in testing.
Even the start of the press conference was a bit bumpy. In the Rose Garden of the White House, Donald Trump wanted to inform the public about how much money his government was providing for protection against the corona virus. “We are distributing one billion dollars to the states,” said the US president. Unfortunately, the figure was not new, it was also wrong. In fact, Washington is allocating 11 billion dollars for infection testing, among other things, and the sum was approved by the US Congress three weeks ago. Unaffected by such petitesses, Trump then answered journalists’ questions for an hour until one reporter apparently hit a nerve.
“They should be asking China that question, not me.”
Reporter Weijia Jiang of CBS News wanted to know why it was so important for Trump that the US would do better than other countries in testing, as if it were a global competition. The president’s response was narrow-lipped: “Maybe that’s a question they should ask China. Don’t ask me. Ask China this question, okay? If you ask them this question, you might get a very unusual answer,” said Trump, who did not elaborate on what exactly he meant and called another journalist.
But Jiang, who was born in China and grew up in the United States, wouldn’t let up. “Sir, why are you saying this to me specifically?” “I don’t say it to anyone in particular,” Trump said, obviously furious. “I’ll tell anyone who would ask such a mean question.” “It’s not a nasty question,” Jiang insisted, but the president ignored it and wanted to give the floor to other journalists, calling Kaitlan Collins of CNN, but ignoring her in the same breath as well. He then thanked those present and abruptly left the press conference.
Donald Trump laments “brutal” media
The corona pandemic has further exacerbated the already difficult relationship between the US president and the press. He reacted to accusations that he had acted too late against the spread of the virus, among other things, with furious attacks against parts of the media that treated him “brutally”. Another target of his attacks is China, where the virus was first detected in humans. At the beginning of the pandemic, the US president had still praised the Chinese government for its actions. For some weeks now, however, he has been claiming the opposite, accusing Beijing of having informed the world too late about the pathogen and of having concealed the extent of its spread.
Donald Trump had recently ordered government employees to wear face masks in the White House after two corona infections became known among government employees. This applies to all public areas of the government headquarters, but not to the offices, according to US media reports. The measure is intended to help prevent further spread of the virus in the White House. However, the president himself will not wear a mask, he said. He would not come so close to anyone that this would be necessary, Trump said.