Donald Trump has said his press conferences are “not worth the time and effort” after he faced condemnation for wrongfully suggesting disinfectant could be used to treat COVID-19.
After not holding a coronavirus briefing on Saturday, the US president indicated in a tweet that there may not be any in the future as he lashed out at what he calls “the lamestream media”.
Mr Trump has been stung at the criticism levelled at him for indicating that injecting disinfectant could combat COVID-19, saying that it “knocks it out in a minute”.
His remarks sparked criticism by doctors, who branded the idea “irresponsible” and “dangerous”, while Dettol maker Reckitt Benckisersaid that “under no circumstance should our disinfectant products be administered into the human body (through injection, ingestion or any other route)”.
The White House initially claimed his comments had been taken out of context, while Mr Trump later said it was an attempt at sarcasm.
What is the purpose of having White House News Conferences when the Lamestream Media asks nothing but hostile questions, & then refuses to report the truth or facts accurately. They get record ratings, & the American people get nothing but Fake News. Not worth the time & effort!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 25, 2020
He then cut short his Friday press briefing without taking questions.
Then on Saturday he wrote in a tweet: “What is the purpose of having White House News Conferences when the Lamestream Media asks nothing but hostile questions, & then refuses to report the truth or facts accurately.
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“They get record ratings, & the American people get nothing but Fake News. Not worth the time & effort!”
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The president was already facing criticism for championing the old anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine as a possible cure for COVID-19, which has been shown to provide no benefit and possibly a higher risk of death.
The Food and Drug Administration in the US on Friday also warned people against the drug because of possible heart complications.
Coronavirus: The infection numbers in real time
Meanwhile, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Saturday reported 895,766 cases of coronavirus, while the number of deaths stood at 50,439.