Working hard to manage the coronavirus outbreak, President Donald Trump held a press briefing Sunday evening and appeared to be singularly focused on reassuring the American people that all will be well.
With the media over-hyping the pandemic and state and local governments shutting down businesses left and right, eliminating the livelihoods of Americans, anxieties are running high and people are doing the one thing that makes them feel they have some control, which is panic buying, as the shelves of many supermarkets are being left bare.
Economic anxiety is just as high and the president began with the announcement that the Federal Reserve was slashing its target interest rate to zero — the last time this was done was during the 2008 financial crisis.
“I think we have some great things to talk about, I’ll start by discussing the Federal Reserve,” a pleased Trump said. “As you know, it just happened ten minutes ago, but to me, it makes me very happy. And I want to congratulate the Federal Reserve. For starters, they’ve lowered fed rate from what it was, which was 1 to 1.25 and it’s been lowered down to 0 or 0.25.”
The president also said the Federal Reserve is going to be purchasing $500 billion of treasuries and $200 billion of mortgage-backed securities, and added that a deal has been made with a number of foreign banks to lower their rates on currency swaps.
He also reminded Americans that “we’re the strongest country in the world, by far, financially and every other way.”
Trump then set his sights on the media-induced controversy about a Google-designed website to track coronavirus cases — CNN’s Brian Stelter had reported that the Trump administration “is lying to the country about the current scope of Google’s coronavirus screening website.”
The Trump administration is lying to the country about the current scope of Google's coronavirus screening website. pic.twitter.com/gLF3NTOyl5
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) March 14, 2020
“I want to thank the people at Google and Google Communications because, as you know, they substantiated what I said on Friday,” Trump said. “The head of Google, who’s a great gentleman, said — called us and he apologized. I don’t know where the press got their fake news, but they got it someplace. But as you know — this is from Google — they put out a release.”
The president then took a crack at the fake news media, suggesting they’ll be eager to apologize.
“And you guys can figure it out yourselves. And how that got out — and I’m sure you’ll apologize,” he said. “But it would be great if we could really give the news correctly. It would be so, so wonderful.”
Shifting his focus to the panic buying, Trump said he had just gotten off a phone call with the nation’s largest grocery retailers and assured Americans the supply chain is in good shape.
“I would like to say that people shouldn’t go out and buy,” he said. “We’re going to all be great. We’re going to be so good. We’re going to do — what’s happened with the Fed is phenomenal news. What’s happening with all of these incredible companies is phenomenal news.”
“But you don’t have to buy so much,” the president continued. “Take it easy. Just relax. People are going in and they’re buying more. I remember — I guess, during the conversation, Doug [McMillon] of Walmart said that they’re buying more than they buy at Christmas. Relax. We’re doing great. It all will pass.”
Trump was clear that there are no shortages, stressing that the companies he spoke with are “going to meet the needs of the public.”
“We have no shortages — other than people are buying anywhere from three to five times what they would normally buy,” he said. “It’s going to be there for a long time.”
Yet, as hard as the president worked to assure Americans and calm our society, which seems to be fraying at the seams, the hair-on-fire media and others on the left worked just as hard to keep people in a state of panic.
The idea of our country coming together in the face of a crisis now a foreign concept in post-Obama America, where hatred for a president trumps the good of a nation.
.@realDonaldTrump lied again during his rambling press conference again today. He acted like everything’s fine, Dr Fauci then basically says the worst is yet to come. More people will be sick with coronavirus due to Donald’s non-testing regime. And that’s absolutely grotesque.
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) March 16, 2020
I just watched @GavinNewsom’s press conference and am now watching Trump’s rambling lunacy and the whiplash is incredible.
— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) March 15, 2020
At press conference, Trump said the US has “tremendous control” over the virus. Dr. Fauci subsequently contradicted Trump’s claim. Trump cannot stop lying. The fed dropped rates to near-zero. DOW futures tanking. Welcome to Trump’s world.
— Jeffrey Guterman (@JeffreyGuterman) March 15, 2020
So I guess these Coronavirus Task Force press conferences are always going to be:
1) Trump comes out like the Tasmanian Devil of stupid and slobbers around a bit
2) The adults, after lavishing praise on the Tasmanian Devil of stupid, provide actual information.
— Rex Huppke (@RexHuppke) March 15, 2020
Trump opens his press conference by praising the Fed, misstates what Google said re a nationwide test system and blames media.
— Cathleen Decker (@cathleendecker) March 15, 2020
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