Trump hails ‘big ratings’ as he announces return of coronavirus briefings
Trump also cited “big flareups” in Texas and Florida as a reason for the return during an Oval Office press event Monday, July 20, 2020.
Trump previously appeared almost daily with his team of health officials — but many outlets stopped carrying them live due to Trump’s blatant disregard to facts and science that included calling for injecting disinfectants into the body and touting unproven treatments.
Trump says he plans to hold daily briefings at 5 p.m. eastern — meaning that most stations in the eastern and central time zone would have to give up at least part of their local news to carry the events live, losing out crucial advertising slots, though it’s not immediately clear how most networks or stations will handle coverage.
This would also hit in the afternoon in most other U.S. markets, meaning popular syndicated programming could end up being pre-empted should the networks and stations opt to carry it live.
The 5 p.m. time is also just 90 minutes before the start of the national newscasts, meaning, depending on how long they run, they could run into the 6:30 p.m. timeslot.
Networks and stations might also shy away from carrying the briefings during this time period because, even if they wrap up relatively quickly, it could cause viewers to change the channel when they don’t see the usual local news and never return later on when the schedule returns to normal.
Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, meanwhile, will continue to provide daily briefings, typically in the morning, Trump said.
At least one member of Trump’s team, Kellyanne Conway sees the briefings as a way to boost sagging approval ratings.