Earlier in the briefing, Trump claimed he had received praise from world leaders after he “solved the ventilator problem” — referring to many states who believed they needed crucial additional ventilators to treat a possible surge of coronavirus patients — and he said he’d done more to procure coronavirus testing than any other leader in the world.
Against a backdrop of stories from countries like Italy, where healthcare resources were overwhelmed, the widespread ventilator shortage that many had been bracing for in the U.S. has not yet occurred.
Concerns remain around the ventilator supply relative to future infections, however, and some areas have had dire problems; but, increasingly, doctors have looked at other treatment options for some patients.
The president said Wednesday that reporters were ignoring his good work in increasing ventilator production. “You guys don’t ask me about ventilators anymore,” he said.
“The fake news was very unhappy that it was done,” he said.
Just before that, Trump boasted incorrectly: “If you added up the testing of every nation in the world, put them together, we’ve done substantially more than that.”
What Trump did not touch on were the issues in February and March with the initial testing kits the federal government provided.
It was only starting in late March that officials were able to drastically ramp up their testing capability — which experts have said limited the ability to track and contain the virus as it spread around the country.
Trump’s spat with ABC News’ Karl was not the first time he has had sharp words for the reporter, who he once derided as “third-rate.”
In recent weeks, the president has also attacked reporters with Fox News, NBC News, PBS and elsewhere.
“Sometimes you get the sense that the president thinks every question should start with, ‘Why are you doing such a great job, Mr. President?’ ” Karl said on The View earlier this month.
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