In a pivotal press conference today at the White House, President Donald Trump blamed the COVID-19 virus on a viral Internet video that originated in the United States and mainstream media personalities immediately stopped blaming the president for botching the coronavirus response.
CNN chief political correspondent Dana Bash said Trump is “being the kind of leader that people need and want and yearn for in times of crisis and uncertainty,” while other reporters tweeted praise for Trump using what appeared to be talking points issued by White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham.
“I think that people have come to trust that President Trump provides leadership that is steady and statesmanlike,” said tweets from the Washington Post, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun, and others. “There are always going to be challenges that emerge around the world, and time and again, he has shown that we can meet them.”
Grisham reiterated the president’s statement on Twitter.
“Based on the best information, really the most outstanding information, the virus began spontaneously as a reaction to a viral Internet video called ‘Innocence of China,'” Grisham tweeted. “A worldwide infection was sparked by this hateful video, which the United States government had nothing to do with.”
“We reject its message and its contents,” Grisham continued. “We find it disgusting and reprehensible, and would like to underscore that the coronavirus infections in the U.S. are rooted in this viral Internet video, not a broader failure of policy.”
Both Trump’s announcement and Grisham’s explanation have already been tweeted millions of times, and several major presidential polls have announced that Trump’s reelection appears to be all but guaranteed.