Beat the Press
Trump berates CBS reporter for noting Trump's own coronavirus video suggests he did nothing in February
After President Trump played a campaign-style video touting his administration's response to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak at Monday's White House press briefing, CBS News correspondent Paula Reid noted that the video jumps from Feb. 6 to March 2, a pretty critical time when the virus was spreading through the U.S. — as The New York Times detailed over the weekend in an article that apparently prompted Trump's anger.
"February, the entire month of February — your video has a complete gap," Reid said. "What did your administration do in February with the time that your travel ban bought you?" "A lot, a lot, and in fact we'll give you a list," Trump said. "What we did — in fact, part of it was up there," in the video. "It wasn't, the video had a gap," Reid noted. Trump pivoted: "Look, you know you're a fake, you know that. Your whole network, the way you cover it, is fake."
Trump's re-election campaign did release a list after the briefing.
Whereas The New York Times' timeline of the global response to the coronavirus pandemic mentions Trump just twice in February — the Trump administration asked Congress for $1.25 billion to respond to the virus on Feb. 24 and strongly advised Americans against traveling to areas in Italy and South Korea on Feb. 29, also banning foreign visitors from Iran — the campaign's timeline includes things like Trump promising to "take all necessary steps" against the coronavirus in his Feb. 2 State of the Union speech, telling reporters Feb. 7 that the U.S. was working with China on the coronavirus, and discussing coronavirus containment efforts in India with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Feb. 26.
Trump also publicly downplayed the outbreak throughout February in comments to the press and during the five campaign rallies he held around the country. On Feb. 26, for example, he told reporters: "When you have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, that's a pretty good job we've done."