Even in the face of a global pandemic, President Donald Trump hasn't dispensed with his typical pettiness.
The President made that perfectly clear on Sunday afternoon, as deaths caused by the national health crisis continued to increase.
In a multi-tweet thread, the President boasted that the ratings for his press briefings regarding the virus were getting higher ratings than other popular television shows, citing a New York Times article.
“President Trump is a ratings hit. Since reviving the daily White House briefing Mr. Trump and his coronavirus upda… https://t.co/bLGu66Jj55— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1585504116.0
...On Monday, nearly 12.2 million people watched Mr. Trump’s briefing on CNN, Fox News and MSNBC, according to Niel… https://t.co/oB97AMKil3— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1585504117.0
...alone attracted 6.2 million viewers for the president’s briefing — an astounding number for a 6 p.m. cable broad… https://t.co/mTYaHLZaK2— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1585504117.0
...The CBS News poll said 13 percent of Republicans trusted the news media for information about the virus.” Michael M. Grynbaum @NYTimes— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1585504149.0
Because the “Ratings” of my News Conferences etc. are so high, “Bachelor finale, Monday Night Football type numbers… https://t.co/91g2U2TgGl— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1585501580.0
The day after this tweet from Trump, deaths from the virus surpassed 2,400.
The President also left out a crucial point from the New York Times piece: that networks are debating whether or not to continue airing them live due to a flow of information that can't be fact-checked in real time.
Even Fox News analyst Brit Hume, who recently praised Trump's now-abandoned suggestion to reopen the country by Easter, was flummoxed by the tweets.
Why bother to tweet about this, of all things? https://t.co/ORce5bNNMy— Brit Hume (@Brit Hume) 1585504284.0
Hume, however, isn't blameless.
He and his network played an integral role not only in Trump's election, but in the legitimization of the thousands of falsehoods he's told since his inauguration.
They weren't about to let Hume off the hook.
@brithume @yashar Because he’s a narcissist, fed by people like you and those on your network who parrot his every… https://t.co/LPg5XD9duN— Brian Tyler Cohen (@Brian Tyler Cohen) 1585504666.0
You've empowered and enabled him every step of the way, Brit. This is partly on you and your network. https://t.co/qtSUlLI0DM— Bob Cesca (@Bob Cesca) 1585507656.0
@brithume This is the monster you and your network helped to create Brit— Mark Gray (@Mark Gray) 1585505935.0
Because you helped put a sociopath in the Oval Office https://t.co/6zr0NBOc8G— Matthew Cortland, Esq (@Matthew Cortland, Esq) 1585518791.0
@brithume He is your boy! You support him, now you explain his insane unpresidential behavior and why you continue to support this person.— Guernica (@Guernica) 1585564262.0
Does Brit think this behavior is new?
imagine acting surprised that this guy acts like the same guy he's always been for the past 73 years https://t.co/tFP0lLVYlV— Maggie Serota (@Maggie Serota) 1585508534.0
@brithume Are you new here— Karen Schwartz (@Karen Schwartz) 1585509513.0
@brithume It's like you've been absent from the whole Trump Presidency.— Samir (@Samir) 1585505318.0
The answer to Hume's question is actually pretty simple.
Brit, he tweets about this because he is mentally and emotionally unfit to be president. https://t.co/plnj8g15JF— Tom Coleman (@Tom Coleman) 1585512655.0
Because he’s a narcissistic psychopath, Brit. It’s really that simple. https://t.co/DMcLhQTMgF— George Conway (@George Conway) 1585506483.0
Bc he’s an inept emotional cripple and pathological narcissist who’s need for attention and affirmation are bottoml… https://t.co/5N6XdKN3kF— Chris Meloni (@Chris Meloni) 1585605113.0
Maybe—just maybe—the ratings for Trump's pressers are so high because Americans are looking for leadership in the throes of a national crisis.
We're still waiting for it.