Heilemann: Trump’s Coronavirus Presser Was a ‘Petri Dish’ — He’s Not Taking This Seriously

Friday on MSNBC’s “Deadline,” network political analyst John Heilemann said President Donald Trump’s press conference declare a National Emergency in response to coronavirus was a “petri dish” of because of the handshaking with business leaders. 

Heilemann said, “He still is downplaying that. To me, one of the main things, the headlines out of this if you just watched the first 15, 20 minutes, which is what a lot of Americans will do, not watching the questions with reporters. He’s still basically saying we’ve got a bunch of tests but don’t take them if you don’t need them. Rather than the message we should be hearing is test, test, test. If you have any reason to test, test, err on the side of caution and vigilance. Don’t take any chances here. The president is still in that mode of like, well, you know, we have the tests. But don’t, literally, don’t take them unless you really feel like you need to. It’s a big step. He’s still out there, shaking hands with people.”

He continued, “I know these are small things, but we are trying to correct and model good behavior for tens of millions of Americans who are not supposed to be doing certain things. Some of the most basic things are we’re not supposed to be shaking hands with people. The president shook hands with multiple people who were standing out there. The CEO’s who walked up, shaking hands with people, left, right and center. They have people on this microphone. The president has been exposed to someone who has tested positive for coronavirus. The president, as he often is swallows that mic. He’s got other people coming up, and they’re on top of the mic also. I’m watching this, and I’m not a doctor, but I’m like this is a petri dish we’re watching here in place. Just the fact that the CDC says avoid large crowds, he’s out there with 35 people standing out there. Just the whole thing seems to reflect for a president who cares so much about symbolism and so much about image, everything he’s doing, all these small things add up to a picture of kind of not taking this as seriously as he should take it, as we must take it.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN


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