(AmericanPoliticalDaily.com)- President Donald Trump sounded a much different tone at his return to the daily White House Coronavirus Task Force briefings Tuesday.
He said the pandemic is likely to get worse in the coming months, and urged Americans to wear a mask to help stop the spread.
“It will probably, unfortunately, get worse before it gets better,” he said. “Something I don’t like saying about things, but that’s the way it is.”
Trump also encouraged young people to not to go crowded places such as bars, urging them to “be smart.” He continued:
“We’re asking everybody that when you are not able to socially distance, wear a mask, get a mask. Whether you like the mask or not, they have an impact, they’ll have an effect. We need everything we can get.”
In the past, the president had said that wearing a mask was a personal choice, almost insinuating that he didn’t believe it does any good. But as the coronavirus is now spreading rapidly across the country, he has changed his stance.
Overall, Trump said he believed his administration was doing a great job in response to the virus. He said scientists have “learned so much about this disease,” and said vaccines would be here “a lot sooner than anyone thought possible.”
He continued to emphasize that he believed the coronavirus would eventually “disappear.”
Following the briefing, liberals went on the attack right away. Andrew Bates, a campaign spokesman for presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, tweeted:
“Moments after reading from his script and saying the outbreak would get worse before it gets better, Trump just reverted to his lie that the virus will simply ‘disappear’ — an assumption that has had deadly consequences for thousands of innocent Americans.”
Lily Adams, who is an adviser and war room spokesperson for the Democratic National Committee, said Trump’ new messaging about the coronavirus “doesn’t mean he’s turned over a new leaf on his response. The White House thinks these briefings will be good for Trump’s ratings, but the more people hear from Trump, the more they see what a failure he is.”
Tuesday’s briefing was the first one he has attended since April. Late that month, the daily briefings abruptly ended. Two subsequent briefings were held, but without the president present at them.
On Tuesday, Trump also briefly discussed progress on the next coronavirus stimulus package. He touched on the fact that lawmakers are considering extending unemployment insurance in some way, as well as creating a program to help small businesses remain afloat.
“We’re working very hard on it. We’re making a lot of progress. I also know that both sides want to get it done,” he said.
Specifically talking about the unemployment benefit, Trump said Republicans are working on a formula that would replace the current $600 per-week boost people on unemployment are currently receiving. That extra benefit is set to expire at the end of July.
Trump said the new total could be “70% of that amount.”