Let’s make the Task Force press conferences watchable…

A streamlined cast of presenters and an audience filled with subject matter experts would make the updates more informative.

I am a news and data junkie, I am immersed in the coronavirus situation, I am Trump-tolerant and I am rooting for us to get out of this health-economic crisis as soon as possible with the fewest deaths and least economic damage.

So, I watch most minutes of most of the daily Task Force press conferences.

I am a passive TV watcher, even during sports events in which I have emotional (or financial) equity. I don’t cheer wildly for TD passes or yell at the TV when there’s an interception.

That said, I am on the verge of throwing shoes at the TV during the Task Force press conferences.

Note: Don’t say “stop watching”.  That would just be conceding defeat.

What’s the rub?

They are too long with too much predictable politics and too little pertinent new coronavirus information.

From the podium, there are too many vaguely supported reassurances and too much repetitive in loco parentis. I get that I’m supposed to wash my hands and stay at home.

From the gallery of reporters, there are too many questions that are politically-skewed, gotcha-intended, off topic or just plain stupid.

Note: I know that teachers (and retired teachers) are supposed to say “there’s no such thing as a dumb question”.  People who offer that admonition obviously didn’t sit through any of my classes.

So, what to do?


Save for occasional short cameo appearances that provide spiritual support, President Trump should allow the Task Force leaders to hold the daily press conferences without him. That would strip the sessions of some, maybe most, of the non-productive political bantering.

To maintain his visibility and accessibility, President Trump should hold his own press conferences, preferably when there is a hot contentious issue, a controversial presidential decision that needs to be explained to the people or a need to deflect heat away from the Task Force.

Then, the Task Force press conference can laser-focus on disseminating coronavirus information. Pence, Fauci, Birx, et. al., are latent fonts of knowledge. But, their high level bullet-point narratives aren’t sufficiently detailed or adequately stress-tested for validity.

Doing the latter requires a new set of interrogators.

Replace the current roster of political reporters with an assortment of subject matter experts. For example, pick a couple of renowned epidemiologists and modelers (e.g. Ioannidis, Murray, Ferguson), and complement them with some of the more serious TV pundit-doctors (CNN’s Dr. Gupta, Fox’s Dr. Saphire, Dr. Oz, Dr. Mike).

Those pop-experts would ask the right questions, drill down on the most pertinent issues, get the information that people need (and want) and keep the podium-presenters on their toes.

Now, that would be “must see TV” and would provide a valuable public service.

One Response to “Let’s make the Task Force press conferences watchable…”

  1. Trump to scale back press conferences … whew! | The Homa Files Says:

    […] See: Let’s make the Task Force press conferences watchable […]

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