JAKE TAPPER (ANCHOR): To those paying attention, the president's outburst is the latest evidence that he should possibly consider letting Vice President Pence and Dr. Fauci and others leading the coronavirus task force at the White House take the helm at the daily press conferences. I don't want to eat up too much time in the show today discussing President Trump's behavior, we have too many life and death issues to discuss. But while President Trump should clearly be heralded for closing off flights from China early on and the government is currently working now on the pandemic, we cannot ignore that much of Mr. Trump's personal response to the pandemic has been insufficient and deceptive and not focused enough clearly on one issue, saving lives.
For months the president belittled the threat of the virus. He only recently acknowledged the gravity of the crisis. I could provide video clips of all this but I don't want to waste your time, you know it's true. Even after President Trump clearly understood what was going on, too many of the messages he's been delivering from that podium are promises of things that remain far off or maybe won't actually happen.
The hospital masks that are not yet ready, the website he discussed that's just local in the Bay Area. He keeps talking up a medicine it's not even clear will be effective. Hospital ships remain weeks away from arrival in port. Peter Alexander, he's a fine reporter for NBC News which just lost an audio technician to coronavirus, he just died. And Peter's question would have been easy for any other politician, it was basically, "Mr. President, please reassure frightened Americans."
Indeed, Vice President Pence did not have a problem handling that question. If President Trump is not capable of leading stably and effectively, he should at least for his own reputation, for the good of the country, stop making things worse and consider leaving the podium to others. The Hippocratic oath, first do not harm, that applies to President Trump too. We'll be right back.