President Donald Trump called NBC journalist Peter Alexander a “terrible reporter” asking a “very nasty question” at a press conference Friday after Alexander prompted him to give a message to Americans scared by the rapid spread of the coronavirus.
“I think it’s a very bad signal you’re putting out to the American people,” Trump continued, standing next to a stone-faced Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). “The American people are looking for answers, and they’re looking for hope. And you’re doing sensationalism and the same with NBC and ‘con-cast.’ I don’t call it Comcast, I call it ‘con-cast.'”
Alexander looked on, astonished, as Trump continued his tirade.
“Let me just say something, that’s really bad reporting,” the President concluded. “And you ought to get back to reporting instead of sensationalism.”
Trump added that Alexander should be “ashamed of himself.”
Trump calls NBC White House correspondent a "terrible reporter" over questions about drugs to treat coronavirus pic.twitter.com/GfvwNLgslZ
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) March 20, 2020
Alexander seems to have set off the President with his series of questions about drugs that might help treat the more serious symptoms of coronavirus.
He pushed the President on his unbridled optimism about the possible effect of such drugs, as compared to Fauci’s more measured cautiousness.
Fauci had said that there is no “magic drug” for coronavirus, a statement Trump said he disagreed with.
“Is it possible that your impulse to put a positive spin on things may be giving Americans a false sense of hope?” Alexander asked, which Trump pushed back against before launching into his set of insults.
“Let’s see if it works. It might and might not,” Trump said. “I happen to feel good about it. But who knows? I have been right a lot.”