Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer offered advice Tuesday to President Trump, who announced the day before that he will reinstate his coronavirus briefings amid a new surge in COVID-19 cases throughout the country.
Fleischer, a Fox News contributor, told “Outnumbered” that instead of holding coronavirus briefings the president should spend the next few weeks doing events across the country “highlighting what his administration is doing to show how much he cares and that he’s on top of it.”
“We had very successful briefings, we had a lot of people watching, a record number of people watching,” Trump said after an Oval Office meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Vice President Mike Pence on Monday. “In the history of cable television, there’s never been anything like it.”
“Frankly a lot of the country has been doing well, as many people don’t say, as you understand. But we have had this big flare-up in Florida, Texas, other places. So I think what we’re going to do is I’ll get involved and we’ll start doing briefings,” Trump continued. He said his first briefing would be Tuesday at 5 p.m.
Trump said the briefings would be a “great way” to get information out about the status of coronavirus vaccines and therapeutics. The White House said the briefings are going to be short, but that the president will take questions.
“Unless and until the president communicates effectively on corona, much of the country is not going to hear anything he wants to say about either the economy or public safety,” Fleischer said. “Corona remains the number one issue on the minds of most American people so he’s got to deal well with that first hurdle to get to the other issues.”
He went on to say, “I don’t like going into the briefing room because I think the briefing room just turns into a brawl and that doesn’t help anybody.”
“I think this administration has done so much,” he continued. “They have dispatched so many doctors, so many nurses to areas with staffing shortages and so many masks, so much equipment to hot spots across the country.”
He then pointed out that he thinks the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are “all doing what they should do, but the president is not getting the credit.”
“What I would do instead of going into the briefing room, is I’d have the president go to the warehouses where the trucks are rolling with medicines for the hot spots. Give a 15-minute speech there, see off the trucks,” Fleischer said. “Go where the nurses are getting redeployed. Thank the nurses.”
He explained that it’s important to “put the president of the middle of the action” and that “the action’s not in the briefing room.”
“The action is the things this administration is actually doing throughout the countryside,” Fleischer continued.
Fox News’ Morgan Phillips contributed to this report.