Do not engage in even the mildest skepticism over the magic drugs that we can imagine might immediately save us from the president’s gross incompetence!
Alexander countered: “Is it possible that your impulse to put a positive spin on things, may be giving Americans a false sense of hope?”
“No, I don’t think so,” Trump said.
Alexander noted it was not yet an approved drug.
“Such a lovely question,” Trump shot back. He tried to say he agreed with Fauci — despite what he had said just a moment before — but then again offered a more optimistic tone than the doctor has about the drug.
“I feel good about it. That’s all it is — just a feeling. [I’m a] smart guy,” Trump said, adding: “We have nothing to lose. You know the expression: What the hell do you have to lose?”
Alexander responded with what might seem like an innocuous question: “What you said Americans were scared, though? Nearly 200 dead. Fourteen thousand are sick. Millions, as you witness, who are scared right now. What do you say to Americans who are watching you right now who are scared?”
“I say that you’re a terrible reporter; that’s what I say,” Trump said. “I think it’s a very nasty question. And I think it’s a very bad signal that you’re putting out to the American people. The American people are looking for answers, and they’re looking for hope. And you’re doing sensationalism.”
He added: “Let me just say something: That’s really bad reporting. And you want to get back to reporting instead of sensationalism. Let’s see if it works. It might and it might not. I happen to feel good about it, but who knows? I’ve been right a lot.”
But here’s the thing: Alexander rightly noted that Trump was saying something that medical experts like Fauci have strained to avoid — that this drug could be the kind of “game-changer” Trump actually volunteered that he disagreed with that and said it might be. There is a real difference in what they are saying, and it’s completely fair for a reporter to ask Trump to account for that.
Well, you can never say that Donald Trump is too prepared.
.@PeterAlexander presses TRUMP on whether he is offering false hope by touting the potential of a drug to treat coronavirus & what he has to say to Americans who are scared.
TRUMP: "I say that you're a terrible reporter, that's what I say … that's a very nasty question." pic.twitter.com/0JhDxEBTkp— Kenneth P. Vogel (@kenvogel) March 20, 2020