Jared Kushner and Stephen Miller, the Sam Johnson and Jimmy Boswell of the Trump regime wrote a ten-minute Trump address worth diagramming. Unfortunately Trump mumbled his way through it on Wednesday Night. WaPo decided to color-code its content.
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) March 11, 2020
President Trump’s address to the nation about the spread of the novel coronavirus was clearly aimed at conveying a sense of an administration with a firm grip on the growing crisis.
We took the text of Trump’s speech and color-coded it. His new proposals are in yellow and his advice to Americans in blue. His efforts to promote his administration’s actions both on the coronavirus and the economy are in orange. In green, two instances in which he pointedly mentioned that the virus originated overseas. More on that in a second.
The visual effect makes the point clearly. A lot of Trump’s speech was aimed at bolstering perceptions of his handling of the government, an apparent attempt to immediately quell investor concerns manifested in sharp drops in stock prices. Market futures dropped quickly as Trump spoke.
His mentions of the “foreign virus” having “started in China” have their own rationale. One reason for noting the point of origin of the outbreak is to counteract China’s apparent willingness to let its citizens believe that the virus originated in the United States. The other reason is that Trump and his allies clearly want to remind Americans that this is a crisis not of Trump’s making, however one views how he’s handled it since it emerged.
What Trump’s speech didn’t include was any significant announcement about controlling the spread of the virus inside the United States. There were no blanket recommendations about how to approach large events, just mentions of how the White House is working with the most affected communities. That, of course, is a dubious measure; the lack of widespread testing means that some communities may have far more cases than are known.
— Jon B. Wolfsthal (@JBWolfsthal) March 12, 2020