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Trump WH bans recording in ONE Coronavirus briefing, but allows old fashioned reporting, whining press goes nuts

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The White House triggered a wave of backlash as it announced that no audio or video recordings were allowed during the latest coronavirus briefing.

Media outlets resorted to still photography and traditional paper and pen options to report on Tuesday’s press briefing, conducted by Vice President Mike Pence, on the latest developments on the health crisis. The Trump administration was slammed for seeming to go back on its promise to be “aggressively transparent” about its response to the outbreak.

CNN’s Jim Acosta and other journalists shared photos from the briefing and the rule for the day.

Acosta reportedly asked Pence about the off-camera briefing and was told Wednesday’s news conference would be back on camera.

“I asked Pence why the Coronavirus briefing is off-camera today. He said he believes the briefing will be back on cam tomorrow,” Acosta tweeted later.

Others joined the pile-on, blasting the Trump administration for the decision.

Pete Souza, the Obama-era White House chief photographer, tweeted that he “can’t ever remember a time when a VP or POTUS spoke in the White House press briefing room and video/audio was prohibited.”

Walter Shaub, former head of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, thought it was “like they’re imploding.”

The outcry poured in from the mainstream media, despite the fact that off-camera briefings with reporters are not unusual and the White House was set to release a written transcript of Pence’s briefing later in the day.

“What we want to do is give real-time information in a steady pace and be fully transparent,” Pence, who was tasked with leading the administration’s response to the coronavirus threat, told reporters Tuesday. “I expect we’ll be back on camera tomorrow.”

A transcript from an off-camera briefing with Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and others last week was later released. And the White House has already held three on-camera briefings in less than a week.

Pence shared during Tuesday’s remarks that there have been 77 cases of coronavirus in the U.S., spread across 13 states and there have been nine U.S. deaths related to the disease.

Frieda Powers

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