“The White House messaging is falling apart, put simply,” Ksenija Pavlovic McAteer said on News Hour, referencing the absence of a “centralized, organized idea as to what they should put forth to the public.” She stated that recent affairs have brought about a “new low in WH relationship with the White House Press Corps.”
Specifically, Pavlovic McAteer was referring to the surprise driveby Trump engineered, of which nothing was mentioned to the press beforehand. With a press pool brimming over with questions and concerns, she noted this was “clearly unacceptable in a time of national crisis.”
Austin asked McAteer who suggested the driveby was a good idea in the first place, given the President’s condition. She answered, “The White House spokesman said yesterday the decision was cleared by his medical team but didn’t want to provide any more information.”
A common theme throughout White House communications, McAteer highlighted this issue’s reach beyond the driveby scenario.
“We need to know what happened. When did the President last test negative for COVID?” On this topic, the White House, “did not want to say.” As the Press Secretary has recently claimed a COVID diagnosis, Pavlovic McAteer suggested, “my colleagues may need to quarantine as well.” Unknowingly, Hope Hicks was infected on Thursday morning as she met with the Press Secretary, who later went on to brief the entire pool.
Austin asked Pavlovic McAteer about Trump’s decision to attend events Wednesday and Thursday, bringing to focus, again, the Trump administration’s failure to disclose the date of his last negative test result. “What’s really interesting right now is they do not want to say that,” she responded, asserting that the Trump administration “likes to appear transparent, but they are not.” Pavlovic Mcateer asserted, “This is what it means to keep American journalists and American people in the dark.”
On the mixed messaging concerning the severity of the President’s condition over the duration of his hospital stay, Pavlovic Mcateer noted, “it appears that the President doesn’t have his main team under control.” Confusion stirred over the discrepancy between the doctors’ announcement to the public and Mark Meadows’s “on background” information given to the press. Pavlovic Mcateer said President Trump was furious at Mark Meadows.”Whatever the nature of Trump’s condition may have been, Austin questioned whether or not he was justified in conducting the driveby in the first place. Indubitably, the secret service drivers in the vehicle with him were placed at an increased risk of contracting the virus, with which the President was still infected at the time. Austin asked Pavlovic Mcateer to share what she thinks Trump might do next, to which she pointed out that “he wants to go back.”
Despite the fact that the White House is now considered a hotspot for the virus, he did, indeed, return as soon as physically possible. Pavlovic’s descriptions of Trump as a “walking hazard” and White House messaging as a “trainwreck” are no doubt predictive of yet more COVID catastrophes to come from the White House in the last weeks of this presidential term.