After originally scheduling a news briefing for Monday only to cancel it later in the day, the White House said that President Donald Trump will have a news conference at 5:30 p.m. ET.
Monday’s briefing comes after Trump decided not to take any questions at Friday’s news conference. Trump also did not hold a news conference over the weekend, marking the first non-holiday weekend in over a month the media did not hear directly from Trump.
Trump also notably held Friday’s briefing without Drs. Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx. While Dr. Fauci has become a more infrequent participant at White House news briefings, Dr. Birx has regularly been in attendance.
The coronavirus news conferences themselves have become newsworthy in recent days.
Last Thursday, Trump inquired whether UV light and disinfectants would be effective killing the virus on both skin and as injections.
“Then I see the disinfectant, where I see it knocks it out in a minute,” Trump said on Thursday. “Is there a way we can do something like that? By injection inside or almost a cleaning, as you see it gets into the lungs and it does a tremendous number.”
The comments set social media ablaze late Thursday and into Friday, both supporters defending and opponents mocking the president for his comments.
“When I was asking a sarcastic — a very sarcastic question to the reporters in the room about disinfectant on the inside, but it does kill it, and it would kill it on the hands and that would make things much better. That was done in the form of a sarcastic question to a reporter,” Trump later clarified.
Trump’s “sarcastic” question prompted the CDC and Surgeon General to issue statements to clarify that disinfectants are dangerous, and not to be used internally to fight the virus.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said on Monday that Trump will speak on “additional testing guidance and other announcements about safely opening up America again.”
As the White House pushes plans to reopen states, governors are trying to balance their budgets. Unlike the federal budget, which can run massive deficits, state budgets are generally required to remain balanced. With states seeing a sudden and dramatic reduction in income and sales taxes, some governors have been pushing for assistance from the federal government.
Without additional revenue, many states will be forced to cut funding to state-funded programs, such as healthcare, education and local services.
But Trump seems reluctant to assist states, at least those run by Democrats.
“Why should the people and taxpayers of America be bailing out poorly run states (like Illinois, as example) and cities, in all cases Democrat run and managed, when most of the other states are not looking for bailout help? I am open to discussing anything, but just asking?” Trump tweeted on Monday.