It's well-established by now that President Donald Trump's administration is no fan of the free press.
Trump routinely blames the media for covering his missteps. He bashes journalists by name on Twitter and he describes the press as "the enemy of the people."
That's only gotten worse as COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, continues to spread across the United States.
Trump appointed Vice President Mike Pence as the response director against the virus, and now he and his team are under fire for banning video and audio of their latest press briefing, despite earlier promises to be "aggressively transparent" in their efforts to contain COVID-19's spread.
Reporters told their followers the news.
We’re underway. No audio or video permitted but photos OK per @WhiteHouse. https://t.co/Vj6pI1Rd5W— Steve Herman (@Steve Herman) 1583276335.0
This is a White House briefing on the virus with no audio or video allowed. https://t.co/yrRnYklP9c— Noah Bierman (@Noah Bierman) 1583276338.0
WH is allowing only still photos of this Coronavirus briefing. No audio or video permitted. Here is a photo of the… https://t.co/ehvatskON2— Jim Acosta (@Jim Acosta) 1583276391.0
Officials were just as secretive when asked why the briefing wasn't on camera.
I asked Pence why the Coronavirus briefing is off camera today. He said he believes the briefing will be back on ca… https://t.co/zQS3LLquNQ— Jim Acosta (@Jim Acosta) 1583278123.0
The administration's secrecy indicated that it's less concerned with getting information regarding a pandemic out to the public, and more occupied with making sure new information doesn't hurt the President politically.
People see right through it.
Controlling the message, not the outbreak. https://t.co/VfbY3pHyyU— Schooley (@Schooley) 1583278541.0
We need transparency. Instead we are getting this. https://t.co/0z6yXdodE0— Judd Legum (@Judd Legum) 1583278872.0
Remember this when you vote - these Republicans, here 'starring' Pence, will not allow any audio or video in our Wh… https://t.co/LzoZ0QuCOe— Elise Flynn (@Elise Flynn) 1583282421.0
We need to demand more than this. Failure to keep us informed and only allowing photo ops is criminal. This is just… https://t.co/aWr9071IOH— Beangirl723 (@Beangirl723) 1583337198.0
This is unacceptable. The American people, including state and local public health officials, need credible informa… https://t.co/c9KOoJs8XL— Rep. Harley Rouda (@Rep. Harley Rouda) 1583277355.0
This is so they can *edit* the information. Can you "prove" we said it? Then we didn't say it...… https://t.co/9KvchQfkpY— PrincessButtercup (@PrincessButtercup) 1583281434.0
What they wanted you to not hear, then be fed slowly so they could control the narrative was -U.S. is now at 77 ca… https://t.co/C7ctJhgwNk— Goodcomments (@Goodcomments) 1583312997.0
It's been nearly a year since the White House's last daily press briefing.