President Donald Trump is trying to invent his own reality about coronavirus.
On Saturday at a North Carolina rally, he claimed the media would no longer report on the pandemic after Election Day. He implied that news organizations are trying to drum up fear about the pandemic to get former Vice President Joe Biden elected.
But facts are facts: Cases are rising sharply and the American public is increasingly at odds with the president’s views on the coronavirus. More then three-quarters – 78% – of Americans remain concerned about getting infected with Covid-19, according to an ABC News/Ipsos Poll released Sunday. And 61% of Americans say they disapprove of Trump’s response to Covid-19, according to the same poll.
That’s why Trump’s denial of the importance of coronavirus and attempts to change the subject aren’t working, according to CNN’s chief media correspondent Brian Stelter.
“This is less about media fear-mongering and more about public health experts leading the way,” Stelter said in his opening monologue on “Reliable Sources” Sunday.
The United States reported its second-highest day of new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, with nearly 84,000 Americans contracting coronavirus. As of Sunday, there were at least 8,575,000 total coronavirus cases in the United States. In total, more than 220,000 Americans have died from the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Creating his own reality
“He’s resisting reality,” Stelter said of Trump. “He’s trying to create his own reality.”
Earlier this month, Trump made at least 66 separate false or misleading claims over a three-day span, according to CNN reporter and fact-checker Daniel Dale.
“In general, we want to be on high alert for misinformation and disinformation,” Michelle Lipkin, the executive director of the National Association for Media Literacy Education said. “I think we have to ask ourselves some pretty important questions like why in this situation does the president only want to do interviews that don’t ask tough questions?”
Many journalists see Trump’s conspiracy theories as a distraction. Media outlets needs to cover election security and election access as the top story right now, Politico’s founding editor John Harris said.
“For the first time in a couple of centuries, that’s under question,” Harris added. “It’s really an enormous story and we can’t cover it enough.”
Meanwhile, at least three people in Vice President Mike Pence’s orbit tested positive for the coronavirus in recent days.
“They want to keep it a secret because Pence is the head of the coronavirus task force and people on his staff can’t keep themselves from getting the coronavirus,” USA Today columnist and CNN senior political analyst Kirsten Powers said. “Much more than the average American, they have so many more opportunities to find out who has it and take the precautions.”
And on Sunday, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows fueled the fire when he told CNN’s Jake Tapper that the United States is “not going to control” the pandemic, as cases continue to surge across the country and Americans prepare for a harsh winter.