PRESIDENTIAL PANDEMIC PHONING
Trump’s Schedule is Empty Because He’s Spending His Days Chatting With Titans of Industry, World Leaders, and Celebrities
President Donald Trump isn’t jetting off aboard Air Force One every few days to preside over MAGA and KAG campaign rallies anymore, now that his pandemic is keeping much of the nation – including the president – at home. World leaders have stopped calling – at least in person – so his televised Oval Office diatribes have come to an end, at least temporarily.
Trump’s calendar has been looking pretty empty these days (not a dramatic change from pre-pandemic days.)
Here’s Trump’s public schedule for tomorrow. (Public schedules don’t include all of a president’s activities.) pic.twitter.com/dst1Nybqbg
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) March 31, 2020
NCRM scoured Trump’s published schedule.
He hasn’t held an actual campaign rally since March 6.
He hasn’t held a fundraiser since March 8.
He received (or at least had scheduled) just seven “daily” intelligence briefings in March – up from just three in February.
Trump has met with supply chain distributors, nurses, tourism industry executives, bankers, and pharmaceutical executives.
And daily he’s held his nationally televised coronavirus task force press briefings, which are little more than toned-down campaign rallies during which Trump freely spreads lies and misinformation, and which the news networks all-too-often air live, unmoderated, and un-fact checked.
According to my The Washington Post, however, Trump has been filling his days, with phone calls. To celebrities and sports figures, along with business and world leaders. Just how much of that is aiding the war effort against the coronavirus is anyone’s guess.
“The 73-year-old, who famously loves to kibitz on the phone, is known for reaching out to cable news hosts, rich friends and assorted associates at all hours to shoot the breeze,” The Post reports. “Cooped up in the White House for weeks now, except for a brief trip to Virginia on Saturday, Trump appears to be working the phones even harder than usual. Corporate executives, governors, celebrities and foreign leaders looking to get something from the U.S. government seem especially eager to secure a telephonic audience with the president.”
Just how much help Trump is giving the national fight against that “invisible enemy” – the coronavirus – which he says has made him a “wartime president,” is another story.
Trump talked with famous chef Wolfgang Puck, promising him the would have the IRS will restore the tax deductibility of meals and entertainment for corporations.
“I’ve directed my staff to use any and all authority available to give restaurants, bars, clubs incentives to stay open,” Trump said.
He’s talked with Apple CEO Tim Cook. Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun, New York Yankees baseball star Alex Rodriguez, NFL star Tom Brady, and “friends in New York who have been stricken by the coronavirus.”
Of course, Trump has called in to Fox News host Sean Hannity’s show, and Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” morning show as well.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Russian President Vladimir Putin, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and China’s President Xi Jinping also made Trump’s call sheet. Russia and China reportedly are sending the U.S. supplies to help fight COVID-19, although exactly what remains unknown. Trump infamously sent China 17.8 tons of medical supplies, including PPE, in February – after being warned there would be a tremendous shortage.
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