‘Fear is subsuming his presidency’: NYT reporter explains how Trump lost control of the pandemic

‘Fear is subsuming his presidency’: NYT reporter explains how Trump lost control of the pandemic
President Donald J. Trump delivers remarks Tuesday, May 5, 2020, at Honeywell International Inc. in Phoenix. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

With more White House staffers getting infected with COVID-19 every day, President Donald Trump is having a hard time convincing Americans that it is safe for them to go back to work.


Appearing on CNN Monday, New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman said that Trump has lost control of his pandemic messaging as even his own staffers are saying they’re scared to come to work.

“Fear is subsuming his presidency,” she said. “And it is fear within the public, fear among the public, fear within his White House. Those are not comments he generally wanted to hear. He wants people to suggest that this is, yes, this is bad, but we’re not afraid. He doesn’t like the optics of wearing a mask.”

Haberman then said that Trump’s desire to project confidence even as he personally is afraid of contracting the virus is partially responsible for the White House’s erratic messaging during the crisis.

“Look, I think the White House is grappling with real issues,” she said. “The state of the economy is not sustainable, the job losses are staggering, and people’s lives are ruined. Those are very real set of concerns they’re dealing with. The message has been to stop and start. Some of that is because that is a new virus and they’re feeling their way, some of that is because the president and his aides have not seen this as a serious threat.”

Watch the video below.

'Fear is subsuming his presidency': NYT reporter says Trump has lost control of the coronavirus from Brad Reed on Vimeo.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close
alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.