JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images // Hernando County Sheriff

After weeks of dismissing the current pandemic as little more than a flu overblown by the media to undermine his presidency, President Donald Trump and his administration are finally beginning to acknowledge the severity of the threat posed by the virus that's upended daily life in the United States.

Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne apparently hadn't gotten that memo.

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MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

At a recent press briefing on the current health crisis facing the United States, President Donald Trump's pandemic response coordinator, Dr. Deborah Birx, made a highly misleading claim.

Birx said that "almost 40 percent" of the country had experienced a low level of spread of the virus despite having early casesk.

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Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The term "Streisand effect" was coined in 2003 when the entertainment icon Barbra Streisand sued a photographer for taking an aerial photo of her home. The photo was one of 12,000 in the collection, and hardly anyone would have seen it had the publicity from the $50 million lawsuit not magnified it.

Hence, the Streisand effect describes when the attempt to hide something only ends up publicizing it more.

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In a Fox News Town Hall on Tuesday, President Donald Trump revealed that he wanted to scale back social distancing efforts in the face of the pandemic and reopen businesses by Easter, which is just 18 days away on April 12.

This was just the latest signal that Trump and his top advisors are more concerned with the faltering economy than the current global health crisis at its root.

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BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images

President Donald Trump gave himself a ten out of ten rating for his response to the current pandemic that's upended daily life in the United States.

Medical experts, governors, and private citizens largely disagreed, citing his initial dismissal of the highly contagious virus and his reluctance to invoke federal powers to slow the spread.

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President Donald Trump has told over 16,000 lies since his inauguration, so it sadly didn't come as a surprise when his daily briefings on the current pandemic were rife with wild claims and false information.

Given the importance of accurate information in the face of a global health crisis, some have urged news outlets to fact check Trump in real time or stop covering his briefings all together, instead giving updates of accurate information from experts and health officials.

A National Public Radio (NPR) station in Seattle—KUOW—announced that it would stop broadcasting the briefings live due to a pattern of false information repeated from the podium.


The station's reasons are far from baseless.

The virus's sudden escalation over the past month largely could have been prevented, but Trump claimed in February that the virus would disappear, like a "miracle" and that the U.S. would be down from 15 cases to zero cases in only a week.

Now, with nearly 60,000 cases nationwide, states are facing a shortage of lifesaving medical equipment as facilities begin to crowd. Trump claimed that he'd invoked the Defense Production Act, which would allow him to mobilize private companies to manufacture items like ventilators and surgical masks.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency later said that Trump hadn't actually invoked the DPA. When confronted with that information, Trump said that it wasn't necessary for him to enforce the act, because companies like General Motors and Ford had already volunteered and were making the equipment now. That was also a lie.

These were just the beginning.

Given the sheer level of misinformation coming from the President, many Twitter users commended the station for the announcement.




With Washington being one of the hardest-hit states by the virus, the price of misinformation to the state is high.

Some called on major news outlets to follow KUOW's lead.





Disinformation from the President cannot go unchecked.

MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

President Donald Trump's response to the health crisis facing the United States has been widely criticized.

He initially dismissed the virus as a hoax before his administration bungled a rollout of testing kits and ordered governors to fend for themselves. Against the near-unanimous advice of health officials, Trump said as recently as Tuesday that he hopes to scale back crucial social distancing measures by Easter—in 18 days.

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