It’s fair to say that US President Donald Trump has had a rocky time with the media recently.
Mr Trump has said his news conferences are “not worth the time and effort” after receiving widespread condemnation, including from the media, after suggesting that disinfectant could be injected into COVID-19 patients to kill the disease.
Speaking during Thursday’s White House Coronavirus task force briefing, the US President also seemed to suggest exposing patients’ bodies to UV lights to treat the virus.
The comments led to criticism from medical professionals and warnings from the makers of cleaning products such as Dettol maker Reckitt Benckiser, who said: “under no circumstance should our disinfectant products be administered into the human body (through injection, ingestion or any other route)”.
The White House originally claimed that the President’s comments had been taken out of context – however, the President later claimed that his comments were an attempt at sarcasm.
On Friday, the President walked out of the Press Conference at the point at which he would usually take questions from the media. He also tweeted to say ‘the Lamestream Media asks nothing but hostile questions’.
The President also called off Saturday’s press briefing, suggesting that he may not hold any such briefings in the future.
This has not been the first week in which the White House’s Coronavirus press briefings have hit the headlines. Last week, the President threw accusations at the media and played a video produced by White House staff which included a montage of selected clips of state governors praising him for his handling of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Some news networks cut away from live images of the press briefing, with CNN accusing the President of using the briefing as “a propaganda session” and trying to “rewrite history”.
This Sunday, Mr Trump, instead of tweeting about responding to the Coronavirus, claimed that he had ‘probably gotten more done in the first 3 1/2 years than any President in history’, adding ‘The Fake News hates it!’
As part of a thread of further tweets, the President wrote ‘….Lawsuits should be brought against all, including the Fake News Organizations, to rectify this terrible injustice. For all of the great lawyers out there, do we have any takers?’
Mr Trump’s mispelt comments on Twitter on Sunday, including those questioning the authenticity of journalists, have sparked further criticism towards him, including from Piers Morgan, who had previously been a supporter of the President.
Most countries are currently having to respond to the COVID-19 Coronavirus, but in the US, it is also an election year. Mr Trump, hoping to secure a second term, will be keen to portray the media as ‘fake’ as he has claimed on so many occasions, hoping that people will support him at the polls in November.
What happens next in President Trump’s feud with the media is uncertain, but many will be hoping for a positive turn of events or for the feud to be put to one side, with over 54,000 people confirmed to have died in the country so far after contracting COVID-19.