President Donald Trump and CNN’s Jim Acosta fight over “happy talk” at Friday’s White House coronavirus task force briefing.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN: Mr. President, we hear from a lot of people who see these briefings as sort of happy-talk briefings. And – PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: No happy talk today. Q – you and some of the officials paint a rosy picture of what is happening around the country. If you look at some of these questions: Do we have enough masks? No. Do we have enough tests? No. Do we have enough PPE? No. Do we have enough – THE PRESIDENT: Why would you no? Look, the answer is yes. Q – medical equipment? THE PRESIDENT: I think the answer is yes. I think the answer is yes. Who – who said no to that? Q I – I’m saying this is what – THE PRESIDENT: No, no, you’re saying no, but who said no? Q We hear – we hear from – THE PRESIDENT: But you asked, Do we have enough masks? Yes. Q We hear from the doctors. We hear from health experts. THE PRESIDENT: No, you didn’t say that. You said, Do we have enough masks? Yes. Q Does the country? Does – THE PRESIDENT: Do we have enough tests? Yes. Plus, we’re developing new tests. Q But they’re not – THE PRESIDENT: Do we have enough – do we have enough ventilators? Yes. Do we have enough hospital beds? Yes. We’ve built 20,000 hospital beds. We have enough hospital beds. Go ahead, Jim. Let’s go. Q So what do you say to – I mean, you watch the coverage. THE PRESIDENT: You know what I say? Q You’ve been watching a lot of the coverage. THE PRESIDENT: Well, a lot of it’s fake news. Q These doctors who – no, no, no. Not – THE PRESIDENT: A lot of it’s fake news. A lot of it’s fake news. Let me just tell you – Q When the doctors and the medical experts come on our air and – THE PRESIDENT: The governors – the governors reported – Q – say that we don’t have enough tests, we don’t have enough masks. THE PRESIDENT: The governor – yeah, depending on your air, they always say that, because otherwise you’re not going to put them on. Let me just tell you something: The governors have said – last night, they had a group of governors, 14 governors. They were together someplace, and they said, It’s been unbelievable what’s happened. We’ve been totally responsive. Ventilators – everyone has the ventilators they need, to a point where we’re getting calls from foreign countries saying, You have all the ventilators. Can we get some? And we’re going to try and help some of these countries. These people have done an incredible job. This is not happy talk. Maybe it’s happy talk for you. It’s not happy talk for me. We’re talking about death. We’re talking about the greatest economy in the world. One day I have to close it off. And we did the right thing, because maybe it would have been 2 million people died instead of whatever that final number will be, which could be 60, could be 70, could be 75, could be 55. Thousands of people have died. There’s nothing happy about it, Jim. This is sad talk. Q But when you say there’s – THE PRESIDENT: This is the saddest – these are the saddest – these are the saddest news conferences that I’ve ever had. I don’t like doing them. You know why? Because I’m talking about death. I’m talking about taking the greatest economy ever created – we had the greatest numbers we’ve ever had in almost every aspect of economics, from employment, to companies doing – look at the airlines. They were having the best year. Now, all of a sudden, we have to save them. Okay? There’s no happy talk, Jim. This is the real deal. And I’ve got to make the biggest decision of my life. And I’ve only started thinking about that. I mean, you know, I’ve made a lot of big decisions over my life. You understand that. This is, by far, the biggest decision of my life, because I have to say, Okay, let’s go. This is what we’re going to do.