President Donald Trump is moving to repair a damaging media narrative as coronavirus infections spiral back out of control just over 100 days before November’s general election.
Trump, whose poll numbers have suffered as he has been hammered for the administration’s stammering response, is setting in motion a new White House communications effort focused on the pandemic and seeking to shift attention to crime in major American cities.
In a series of tweets Tuesday morning, Trump repeated his claim that the United States is “doing very well” combating the virus compared to “most other countries” — even as spiking caseloads put the U.S. far ahead of other industrialized nations — and touted the “Tremendous progress being made on Vaccines and Therapeutics” to treat the highly infectious disease.
The most notable addition to the president’s preferred social media feed was a black-and-white photo posted Monday afternoon showing him modeling a face mask, a personal mitigation measure Trump had long been reluctant to practice. “There is nobody more Patriotic than me, your favorite President!” he wrote online.
Trump seems poised to reprise those rosy sentiments Tuesday evening, when he is slated to resume his appearances at the White House’s televised coronavirus news conferences after a nearly three-month hiatus.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Trump’s future sessions with reporters are “going to be short” affairs taking place “most days,” after which the president will answer questions.
“We have a lot of plans over the next three months,” she told Fox News, previewing “very newsy briefings with a lot of information the American people want to hear.”
This week has also seen a brief détente in the president’s feud with his own health officials, after the White House rebuked CDC guidance for reopening schools and waged a smear campaign against Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, in recent days.