The White House is scrapping Monday's coronavirus briefing and teasing a "new look" for them going forward.
After President Trump was widely criticized for floating the idea of injecting disinfectants to treat COVID-19 during Thursday's briefing, a comment he later claimed was sarcastic, the White House on Monday canceled a coronavirus briefing that was set for 5 p.m. White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said there will be some briefings this week but that they "might have a new look to them, a new focus to them," CNN's Betsy Klein reports.
The day after Trump's disinfectant comments, he held an unusually short briefing and took no questions, and held no briefings over the weekend. Axios reported on Friday that Trump was planning to "pare back" coronavirus press conferences as numerous advisers "have urged him to stop doing marathon televised briefings," telling him he's "overexposed" and that they're hurting him in the polls. The New York Times examined Trump's coronavirus briefings and other remarks and found that "by far the most recurring utterances from Mr. Trump in the briefings are self-congratulations, roughly 600 of them, which are often predicated on exaggerations and falsehoods."
CNN also reported that there's been "a concerted effort" among Trump's aides and allies to get him to stop conducting daily briefings, a report McEnany denied on Monday, telling Fox News "the media needs to not read into what's happening." Trump himself over the weekend questioned the "purpose" of the coronavirus task force briefings, declaring them "not worth the time and effort!"
Among those recommending Trump scale things back is former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who told Good Morning America on Monday, "The American people are shut in for the most part, and they don't need to see the same person every day for two hours." Brendan Morrow
Update 1:30 p.m. ET: Shortly after the briefing was removed from the schedule, the White House reversed and said Trump "will brief the nation" today regarding additional coronavirus testing guidance.