Meghan McCain Says Trump May Use Pandemic as ‘Power Grab’
April 7, 2020 | by James G. Dalton
“The View” co-host Meghan McCain on Monday argued for keeping President Donald Trump’s daily coronavirus press briefings on air, but only because she is fearful the president would use the pandemic for a “draconian” power grab – “akin to the Patriot Act” – if Americans were not tuning in.
“There is an argument being made by some people in media that the press conferences shouldn’t be being covered,” McCain said.
“My argument for keeping the press conferences is I think we’re at a place where President Trump, he’s always been a sort of totalitarian president, in a way that we’ve never historically seen before,” she said.
“My fear is that he’s going to play on the American public’s fears in a draconian way and possibly do something akin to the Patriot Act going forward, where he uses this moment in time to play off our fears for his own benefit, and I think seeing front and center what him and his team – I for one, became even more fearful of what was happening when I saw how inept Jared Kushner was – so I think while he has a team of doctors . . . my fear is that this is a moment in time that can be manipulated by our powers and by our government in place.”
TV networks have cut away from the briefings, including CNN and MSNBC, and some journalists have stopped attending as they increasingly believe the briefings do not have enough news value to merit breaking social-distancing measures to attend.
MSNBC last week told The Hill in a statement it was not broadcasting the full briefing “because the information no longer appeared to be valuable to the important ongoing discussion around public health.”