It was the journalistic equivalent of a layup, an opportunity for President Trump to utter a sound bite to soothe an anxious nation’s fears and concerns amid a pandemic.
Instead, Trump turned an exchange at a news conference into something very different — a jarring attack on the news media in general and the reporter who asked the question in particular.
NBC News correspondent Peter Alexander started the exchange by asking Trump whether he “may be giving Americas a false sense of hope” by touting drug therapies that health-care experts have said are unproved as treatments for the coronavirus.
“No, I don’t think so,” Trump replied. “It may work, it may not work. . . . I feel good about. That’s all it is, it’s a feeling.”
Alexander shifted gears by citing the growing toll of the illness and asking Trump, “What do you say to Americans who are watching you right now and are scared?”