Trump’s Bizarre Message During Sunday Coronavirus Update


This Sunday, President Donald Trump made an appearance at the White House Coronavirus response team’s latest press conference, where he admonished observers to “relax” — although that may be a little difficult when he himself remains in charge following weeks of dragging his feet. It wasn’t that long ago at all when he proclaimed that Coronavirus concern was supposedly a hoax — and now he’s pompously insisting that people should “relax” as if he himself isn’t giving observers plenty of reasons to do the exact opposite.

He offered his comments in the context of reported rash purchases of large amounts of items off grocery store shelves around the country in possible anticipation of some kind of further lockdown on movement that may or may not ever actually happen, let alone warrant the sheer volume of purchases that some people have been making. This Sunday, Trump had a conversation with some grocery chain executives about the issue. At the press conference, he commented:

‘They’ve been there for 24 hours around the clock, keeping their stores stocked… Relax. You’re doing great. There’s no need for anybody in the country to hoard essential food supplies, they said to me. Have a nice dinner, relax. because there’s plenty. You don’t have to buy the quantities, because it’s hard to refill.’

Some observers joked that only now were they beginning to truly worry. As journalist Molly Jong-Fast put it:

‘The president said, “just relax” and that “we’re all doing great.” I’ve never been more convinced we’re doomed.’

Others also disagreed.

As The Independent notes, Trump added that “senior officials from firms such as Walmart had said people were buying three to five times the usual amount” in a move “comparable to Christmas,” although again, there’s no particular reason that these rash purchases are actually necessary. In fact, some have noted, the quicker that Americans help stem the spread of the Coronavirus through social distancing — in other words, the opposite of crowding into a packed grocery store — the quicker that people can get back to their normal lives.

Some officials have begun to roll out forced closures as the Coronavirus has spread across the U.S. All restaurants and bars in Ohio will soon be closing off their seating areas indefinitely, and in California, which was one of the first states with Coronavirus cases, the governor is calling for a similar closure of bars and nightclubs, along with urging elderly people, who are at a high risk from the virus, to mostly stay home altogether.

With increases in testing capacity and a simply continuing viral spread in general, the number of cases reported daily in the U.S. is continuing to climb and has hit about 3,500 overall. There’ve been about 63 deaths in the country from the virus. In response, the Trump administration has imposed steps like travel bans covering journeys to and from most of Europe, and there’s a new Coronavirus relief funding package awaiting Republican Senate action and the president’s presumed signature later this week. That includes measures like unemployment insurance expansion, mandated paid sick leave for some workers, and more.