Speed Reads

the coronavirus crisis

Trump accuses media of 'siding with China' while claiming administration was 'very prepared' for coronavirus crisis

President Trump lashed out at the media during a press briefing on Thursday, claiming his administration was "very prepared" to deal with the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis, days after describing the media's coverage as fair.

When asked why the United States was not prepared with more testing as the novel coronavirus began to spread, Trump claimed "we were very prepared" and "the only thing we weren't prepared for was the media. The media has not treated it fairly."

The New York Times on Thursday reported on an October 2019 draft report following a Department of Health and Human Services simulation that outlined "just how underfunded, underprepared and uncoordinated the federal government would be for a life-or-death battle with a virus for which no treatment existed." And Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told Congress last week that "the system is not really geared to what we need right now" in terms of testing, adding, "That is a failing. Let's admit it."

Trump's made his complaints about unfair media coverage just days after he said on Monday, "I think people are pulling together on this. I really think the media has been very fair." A day later, he suggested that while he hasn't gotten "good press" during the crisis, "I will blame ourselves" for that.

Later in the briefing, Trump accused the media of "siding with China." The president ended the briefing on this note days after China said it would revoke press credentials from journalists from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. Brendan Morrow