Trump and the White House faced widespread criticism on Tuesday after Vice President Mike Pence conducted a press briefing on the coronavirus outbreak and members of the media were not allowed to record or audio.
What We Know:
- The administration—which recently pledged to be “aggressively transparent” with the public about the spread of the infection that has actually now claimed the lives of nine individuals in the U.S.—only allowed still pictures to be taken, CNN’s Jim Acosta and reporters in presence tweeted.
- Acosta posted, “I asked Pence why the Coronavirus briefing is off camera today. He said he believes the briefing will be back on cam tomorrow,” Acosta later posted, “the closest thing to an explanation we got” was “when Pence said, ‘Trump was on camera a bunch today’”.
WH is allowing only still photos of this Coronavirus briefing. No audio or video permitted. Here is a photo of the VP as the briefing began. pic.twitter.com/kB05s6IRvO
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) March 3, 2020
- Obama-era White House chief photographer Pete Souza said he “can’t even remember a time when a VP or POTUS spoke in the White House press briefing room and video/audio was prohibited”.
- The Trump administration’s coronavirus response has been widely criticized as disorganized and slow. Trump himself has repeatedly sought to downplay the risks, sometimes with outright falsehoods.
- Former head of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, Walter Shaub said, “it’s like they’re imploding”.
The @WhiteHouse held a briefing on the #CoronaVirus today and **did NOT allow video or audio to be recorded**.
— Lindsay Cohen (@lindsaycohen) March 4, 2020
This is the most b.s. I have ever seen. We deserve to hear and see what is going on. https://t.co/8fJnu0kAC3
— Eric Garcia for Congress (@EricG1247) March 3, 2020
Real effort here to avoid producing images for television coverage of coronavirus https://t.co/MzsCWgTP7q
— Ben Smith (@semaforben) March 3, 2020
No audio or video permitted at Pence WH coronavirus press conference, absolutely outrageous and will further signal the public that the Trump admin doesn’t have a handle on this @SenSchumer @SpeakerPelosi @KevinMcCarthyTV @senatemajldr https://t.co/flU4QD32Rn
— Laura Rozen (@lrozen) March 3, 2020
Not how a functioning democracy works. https://t.co/Cg7xBadjXx
— David Rothschild 🌻 (@DavMicRot) March 3, 2020
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