- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 21, 2020

President Trump’s decision to resume coronavirus briefings Tuesday is prompting advice from both corners of the political spectrum, with a former press secretary saying the president needs to “talk personally” and avoid spats with reporters.

Ari Fleischer, who manned the briefing room for President George W. Bush, said Mr. Trump’s decision to resume the briefing is a mistake.

“That room is a hot spot. Too many reporters don’t want info — they want a fight,” Mr. Fleischer tweeted. “When reporters taunt, rise above.”

He said it would be better for the president to travel around the country and demonstrate what the federal government is doing to boost testing, support doctors and get equipment into the right hands.

But if the president insists on the briefing room, he should keep it to 30 minutes and spread the sessions out instead of doing them daily, according to Mr. Fleischer. He said Mr. Trump should also be specific about what the government is doing.

“Talk personally. Show you care,” the former press secretary tweeted.
Mr. Trump is resuming his coronavirus briefings after a lengthy break.

The sessions dominated March and April, when the coronavirus ripped through America, yet the president strayed from the science at times, leading to trouble. His April 24 musing that disinfectant could be a potential bodily cure led to widespread ridicule.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said it’s fine if the White House wants to give briefings. He just doesn’t think the president should be there.

“When the White House coronavirus briefings resume, President Trump should not take the podium,” the New York Democrat tweeted. “Every time he takes the podium he’s a threat to public health.”

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