The US hit a terrible milestone yesterday, becoming the first country in the world to record more than 2,000 coronavirus deaths in a single day. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump has taken to Twitter three days in a row this week to boast about TV ratings for the daily coronavirus press briefings.
According to data collated by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, 2,108 people lost their lives on Friday, the largest increase in coronavirus fatalities the country has seen since the beginning of the outbreak, CNN reports.
The death toll from the coronavirus pandemic in the US surpassed 18,000 as of Friday afternoon.
More Americans died between Monday and Saturday (8,800) than died from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq combined, according to Business Insider.
And nearly 17 million Americans have filed for unemployment in the past few weeks.
But Trump believes that the strong ratings for the press conferences, which have attracted an average audience of 8.5 million on cable news, are proof that he’s “doing a good job,” even as top Republicans express concern that the president’s performances at the daily briefings are hurting him politically.
“The Radical Left Democrats have gone absolutely crazy that I am doing daily Presidential News Conferences. They actually want me to STOP! They used to complain that I am not doing enough of them, now they complain that I ‘shouldn’t be allowed to do them.’ They tried to shame the Fake News Media into not covering them, but that effort failed because the ratings are through the roof according to, of all sources, the Failing New York Times, ‘Monday Night Football, Bachelor Finale’ type numbers (& sadly, they get it $FREE). Trump Derangement Syndrome!” Trump tweeted on Wednesday.
He followed up on this with another tweet on Thursday, blasting the Wall Street Journal after the conservative publication’s editorial board excoriated Trump over his behavior at the daily briefings in an editorial.
“The Wall Street Journal always ‘forgets’ to mention that the ratings for the White House Press Briefings are ‘through the roof’ (Monday Night Football, Bachelor Finale, according to @nytimes) & is only way for me to escape the Fake News & get my views across. WSJ is Fake News!” Trump tweeted.
The Wall Street Journal always “forgets” to mention that the ratings for the White House Press Briefings are “through the roof” (Monday Night Football, Bachelor Finale, according to @nytimes) & is only way for me to escape the Fake News & get my views across. WSJ is Fake News!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 9, 2020
And he wasn’t done:
Because the T.V. Ratings for the White House News Conference’s are the highest, the Opposition Party (Lamestream Media), the Radical Left, Do Nothing Democrats &, of course, the few remaining RINO’S, are doing everything in their power to disparage & end them. The People’s Voice!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 10, 2020
Trump has been broadly criticized over his handling of coronavirus. A CNN poll released earlier this week found a majority of Americans (55%) feel the government has done a poor job responding to the crisis, and 52% said they disapprove of the job Trump has done in handling the pandemic.