Donald Trump has said his news conferences are “not worth the time and effort” after he faced condemnation for suggesting disinfectant could be injected into COVID-19 patients to kill the disease.
He made the suggestion on Thursday, cut short his coronavirus news conference on Friday by walking out when he would normally take questions, and then refused to hold one last night as the criticism continued.
Having called off Saturday’s briefing, the US president lashed out at what he labels “the lamestream media” – and indicated he may not hold any such briefings again.
Lights and disinfectant: Trump’s cure suggestions
Mr Trump has been stung by the amount of 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 Benckiser said 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
On Saturday evening, he tweeted: “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!”
US Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr Deborah Birx observes as the president muses over ultraviolet light and disinfectant virus treatment.
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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 proe 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.
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.