President Donald Trump continued to display an unnervingly tone-deaf perspective on the mounting coronavirus threat in the U.S. by bragging about his TV ratings in not one — but five — tweets Sunday.
The former star of reality program “The Apprentice” boasted that the “ratings” of his news conferences are as high as the finale of “The Bachelor” and “Monday Night Football.” That drives the “Lamestream Media ... CRAZY,” he wrote. Then, like a commercial for an upcoming TV show, Trump added: “See you at 5:00 P.M.!” — referring to Sunday’s press briefing.
Because the “Ratings” of my News Conferences etc. are so high, “Bachelor finale, Monday Night Football type numbers” according to the @nytimes, the Lamestream Media is going CRAZY. “Trump is reaching too many people, we must stop him.” said one lunatic. See you at 5:00 P.M.!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 29, 2020
“President Trump is a ratings hit. Since reviving the daily White House briefing Mr. Trump and his coronavirus updates have attracted an average audience of 8.5 million on cable news, roughly the viewership of the season finale of ‘The Bachelor.’ Numbers are continuing to rise...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 29, 2020
...On Monday, nearly 12.2 million people watched Mr. Trump’s briefing on CNN, Fox News and MSNBC, according to Nielsen — ‘Monday Night Football’ numbers. Millions more are watching on ABC, CBS, NBC and online streaming sites, and the audience is expanding. On Monday, Fox News...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 29, 2020
Trump appeared to miss the key point of The New York Times article he quoted about the viewership ratings. The story Wednesday explored the increasing debate among networks about whether or not to cover the president’s briefings live because they’re peppered with falsehoods and misleading information about COVID-19.
Trump’s followers on Twitter were stunned that the president would brag about his TV ratings as COVID-19 cases in the nation soared to more than 140,000 and the death toll neared 2,400 Sunday evening. Trump’s top health adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned Sunday that the death toll could hit 200,000.
George Conway, spouse of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, quipped that the president should consider giving some ratings credit to the coronavirus pandemic — as fearful Americans tune in to see what, if anything, is being done to protect them. Princeton History Professor Kevin Kruse snidely noted that 110 million Americans tuned in to watch Richard Nixon’s resignation speech.
I think someone in the press room today should ask Trump if he thinks he’s going to be able to maintain his TV ratings and whether he gives any credit to the virus— George Conway (@gtconway3d) March 29, 2020
ok but how are Trump’s TV ratings down there https://t.co/Mo0hMVCUMT— George Conway (@gtconway3d) March 29, 2020
“This is not about your ratings, Mr. President!” former Obama administration adviser Valerie Jarrett tweeted. “This is not a reality tv show. For countless Americans, this is our reality.”
People are dying and everyone is scared. So many heroes are selflessly working to attend to our health and safety, and make essential goods and services available. This is not about your ratings , Mr. President! https://t.co/eCHNYk2Ptv— Valerie Jarrett (@ValerieJarrett) March 29, 2020
Even Brit Hume of Fox News, who often has the president’s back, was caught off guard.
Why bother to tweet about this, of all things? https://t.co/ORce5bNNMy— Brit Hume (@brithume) March 29, 2020
Dr. Fauci told me today that the coronavirus could kill anywhere from 100,000 to 200,000 Americans, and infect millions more. Americans.— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) March 29, 2020
The president is tweeting about TV ratings for press conferences. https://t.co/bxGaBsOww9
“All we have to fear...is low ratings” pic.twitter.com/CXBXVJiU5a— TrivWorks (@TrivWorks) March 29, 2020
America First is the Trump campaign slogan pic.twitter.com/KwGTOnWoDm— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) March 29, 2020
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.