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Trump to resume his televised coronavirus briefings

US President Donald Trump speaks at the White House in Washington (AFP Photo/JIM WATSON)

(AFP)

US President Donald Trump announced Monday he will resume his televised coronavirus briefings, saying he wants to tout positive news, even as the pandemic spreads across the country.

“I think it’s a great way to get information out to the public,” he told reporters at the White House. “We’re doing very well in so many different ways.”

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Trump said he would likely start on Tuesday.

The White House held dozens of coronavirus briefings over two months in the early stages of the pandemic, but abandoned them in late April.

Trump often turned what were billed as opportunities to provide the anxious public with information into testy exchanges with reporters in the room.

He then angrily ditched the events after a briefing in which he drew widespread ridicule for musing on air about the possibility of injecting household disinfectant to combat COVID-19.

He later said he had been speaking “sarcastically,” although there was no evidence of this at the time.

The president has consistently sought to play down the severity of the health crisis, saying it will “disappear” by itself.

But with the virus on the rebound, tearing through Florida and other major states, he finds himself accused of failing to lead.

He is also dropping ever further in polls against his November presidential challenger Democrat Joe Biden.

Trump said the briefings would home in on good news regarding vaccine development and therapeutics.

“We think we’re doing very well in that regard,” he said. “I think I’m going to be bringing in some of the great companies that are working very successfully.”

“We’re really coming up with some very good answers,” he said.

Trump signalled that he will once again dominate proceedings, likely at 5:00 pm, when television audiences are growing.

“We had very successful briefings. I was doing them and we had a lot of people watching, record numbers watching. In the history of cable television, there’s never been anything like it.”

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