On Tuesday (March 31), the White House opened its doors to the press for the purpose of conducting another news conference, which was related to the global COVID-19 disease outbreak.
However, unlike all the previously-publicized news conferences Washington D.C. has held on this matter, the most recent one revealed a somber sobriety present within the executive branch of the U.S. government. A collective effort appeared to be put into communicating a cohesive message to the public like never before.
For the first time, some form of dialogue management was visible between America’s political leaders and its members of the press. However, the semi-anecdotal narrative on display via America’s television news stations was not based on data that was superseded by decisive, preeminent action.
And thus, the American people who tuned in to watch the Trump Administration’s COVID-19 press conference were sold another gimmick; one that tried to prove to that their federal government’s so-called “Coronavirus Task Force” really cares about their well-being. There were plenty of vocal rose petals to go around toward the end of the presser.
However, White House officials were forced to reveal the ominous truth about the gloomy days that lie ahead in their current national crisis. Government leaders are not always the sole cause of their nation’s biggest problems. Nonetheless, they must own those problems as they come and make the critical decisions, which history will ultimately judge them by.
“They’re very sobering, yeah. When you see 100,000 people [who may die in the coming weeks] and that’s a minimum number…and they said it’s unlikely you’ll be able to attain that. Think of what would have happened if we didn’t do anything,” said U.S. President Donald Trump.
“As sobering a number as [100,000] is, we should be prepared for it. No one is denying the fact that we are going through a very, very difficult time right now,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, a top immunologist who is consulting the White House’s Coronavirus Task Force.
Dr. Deborah Birx (another ranking White House physician who is helping to administrate the nation’s current plague) spoke in simple language, which was consistent with a kindergarten teacher’s classroom vernacular.
“Americans must continue to stay home, keep apart, wash their hands, and take the other steps that public health officials have urged. It’s communities that will do this. There’s no magic bullet. There’s no magic vaccine or therapy. It’s just behaviors,” she said.
Looking directly into the camera, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence (Trump’s handpicked leader of the Coronavirus Task Force) made his own personal appeal to the American people in what appeared to be a contrite fashion.
“There are difficult days ahead. Our hearts and our prayers go out to the families who have lost loved ones,” Pence said.
Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx talked ad nauseam about data, contingency models, and projections. However, the truth of the matter is that until each member of the American public has access to accurate COVID-19 testing supplies, the death/survival rates journalists want to ask the “experts” about are just figments of imagination.
Members of the news media also have a responsibility to the American public during these so-called “coronavirus press conferences.” During their inquiries, some reporters will quote another politician (who at times are from rival parties) prior to asking their questions. They do so in the hopes of scoring political points.
This partisan practice is irresponsible. The time for petty politicization is over. More people across the globe have died of COVID-19 than the reported number of people who died during the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Contrary to popular belief, America is now the epicenter of COVID-19, whereas beforehand, it was the Chinese mainland.
Furthermore, bringing up how other nations have failed to curtail COVID-19 and the coronavirus that causes it (SARS-CoV-2) is not what American leaders or journalists should be doing. If America wants to increase the amount of SARS-CoV-2 negative cases, it must carefully observe and learn from the positive responses undertaken by other countries.
Otherwise, this “new normal” Americans are so uncomfortable with will become permanent, not temporary.