by a strange coincidence, i am reading about the useless slaughter of gallipoli

Trump accused of using coronavirus briefing as corporate advertising spot
David Smith, Groon, Mar 31 2020

FASCHINGSTEIN – Donald Trump was accused on Monday of turning his daily White House coronavirus briefing into an advertising spot for corporate allies, even as the number of Pindo cases topped 160,000. The president paraded several company leaders in the White House Rose Garden, starting with Mike Lindell, the chief executive of MyPillow, who has become a regular cheerleader for Trump at his campaign rallies. Trump praised companies for doing their “patriotic duty” by producing or donating medical equipment to meet Pindostan’s most urgent needs, saying with his customary hyperbole:

What they’re doing is incredible! These are great companies!

He went on to invite Lindell, Darius Adamczyk of Honeywell, Debra Waller of Jockey International, David Taylor of Procter & Gamble and Greg Hayes of United Technologies to make short speeches. He introduced Lindell as a “friend” and riffed:

Boy, do you sell those pillows! It’s unbelievable what you do!

Lindell then stood at the presidential podium and said his company has dedicated 75% of its manufacturing to producing cotton face masks, saying:

By Friday, I want to be up to 50,000 a day!

He went on to thank Trump for his “call to action” then in a bizarre gear change he went into campaign rally mode and declaimed:

God gave us grace on Nov 8 2016 to change the course we were on! God had been taken out of our schools and lives! A nation had turned its back on God! I encourage you to use this time at home to get back in the word, read your Bibles, and spend time with your families! Our president gave us so much hope, when just a few short months ago we had the best economy, the lowest unemployment, and wages going up! It was amazing! We will get through this and get back to a place that’s stronger and safer than ever!

Trump told reporters:

I did not know he was going to do that, but he’s a friend of mine, and I do appreciate it! Thank you, Mike!

The White House coronavirus taskforce briefings have become notorious for Vice-Pres Pence and other boxtops paying homage to Trump’s “leadership” while he scolds reporters for being too negative. This occurred again on Monday, when Jim Acosta, chief White House correspondent at CNN, quoted some of Trump’s own statements back to him in which he claimed Pindostan has the virus “very much under control” and “it will go away.” The president retorted that the virus “will go away”, without offering a timeline, and praised his government’s efforts, saying:

It’s almost a miracle, the way it’s all come together, and instead of asking a nasty, snarky question like that, you should ask a real question!

Later, questioned by Yamiche Alcindor of PBS, Trump again snapped:

You should be saying congratulations, instead of asking a really snarky question!

The administration has extended federal guidelines on social distancing to Apr 3 as the country braces for what experts estimate could be between 100,000 and 200,000 deaths. State governors have complained of a crippling shortage of ventilators, masks and other critical equipment. But on Monday Trump insisted mass production and distribution were under way, and highlighted the building of a temporary hospital in New York and arrival there of a medical ship. He said Pindostan would be sending around $100m worth of “things, surgical and medical and hospital things” to Italy. Pindostan has the biggest coronavirus caseload in the world after chronic failings to carry out testing in the crucial early weeks. Ever the TV host, Trump opened a cardboard box marked “COVID-19” with images of the virus containing a machine made by Abbott that can administer a test in just five minutes. Stephen Hahn, commissioner of the Food and Drugs Administration, said:

We’ve had a substantial addition to testing with the authorisation of point-of-care tests, especially the Abbott point-of-care test, which the president has pulled out of the box.

Trump told reporters:

Over one million Pindos have now been tested, more than any other country by far!

He has long been making such a claim, even as Pindostan trailed other countries such as South Korea, on testing per capita. According to the COVID-19 Tracking Project, a journalist-maintained database, there have been 945,793 coronavirus tests administered in Pindostan as of Monday, although that number could be higher, as the results of negative tests can take longer to report, and asserted:

I know South Korea better than anybody! It’s very tight! Do you know how many people are in Seoul? Do you know how big the city of Seoul is? 38m people! That’s bigger than anything we have!

The population of Seoul is less than 10m.

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