“At the White House podium over the last few weeks, each member of the Trump administration’s coronavirus task force has been cognizant of two messages: one for millions of Americans; another for the man just a few feet away. Even the health experts — many of them not political appointees — have made sure to deliver some praise to the president to help the medicine go down as they dish out some of the more dire predictions about the growing pandemic.
Critics have noted that aides have been premature at times to lavish compliments on the president as they continue to fight the virus. They compared the constant thank-yous to Trump’s televised Cabinet meetings, during which Trump went around the room and had each senior official praise him.
“It undermines the credibility of the experts. … What people need are the facts. They don’t need experts spending time fluffing up the commander in chief,” David Lapan, a former Pentagon spokesperson and vice president of communications at Bipartisan Policy Center said.”
“For those who know the president, public praise and flattery are a valuable political currency. Trump has been noticeably more gracious towards several Democratic governors during the coronavirus outbreak, often citing their praise of his current leadership.
The president on Sunday noted that state governors were “very, very complimentary” on a recent nationwide coronavirus call.
“I watched, over the last few days, Gov. [Andrew] Cuomo, I watched Gavin Newsom,” Trump said, referencing the Democratic governors in New York and California, two of the hardest-hit states. “I watched both of them. And they’ve been, you know, very complimentary.””
“The president is hyper aware of TV ratings, which are compiled weekly for him in the White House, and viewership of the briefings during the daytime hours have seen a notable spike as Americans anxiously watch from home.
Administration officials say it’s an opportunity for experts from the task force to answer questions, but it also gives the president a national platform to assure the public and offer himself a pat on the back.”