Rather than answer her completely valid question about the disastrous state of the US economy, President Donald Trump bashed CBS News reporter Paula Reid as a ‘rude person’ for even asking.
President Donald Trump again lashed out at CBS News reporter Paula Reid for questioning his handling of the COVID-19 crisis. During a May 19 cabinet meeting attended by White House reporters, Reid asked, “Mr. President, why haven’t you announced a plan to get 36 million Americans back to work? You’re overseeing historic economic despair. What’s the delay, where’s the plan?” Trump looked exasperated, and shot back, “Oh, I think we’ve announced our plan. We’re opening up the country — just a rude person, you are. We’re opening up our country. We’re opening it up very fast. The plan is that each state is opening up, and it’s opening up very effectively, and when you see the numbers even you, I think, will be impressed, And it is pretty hard to impress you.”
Reid pressed on, considering that Trump didn’t actually answer any of the questions she asked. “That’s enough of you,” the president said sharply, pointing a finger toward Reid before fielding a question from another reporter. You can see the heated exchange take place below. Reid’s inquiries were valid; amid the coronavirus pandemic, business closures and lack of customers have resulted in 36 million Americans filing for unemployment over the past two months, making the unemployment rate roughly 15%. To put in perspective, 15 million Americans (about 25%) were counted as unemployed during the Great Depression of 1929 to 1933, considered the most disastrous era of the United States’ economy.
While there is a White House “Opening Up America Again” plan, it’s an overview of the steps and phases states must take to start reopening amid the pandemic — not a detailed plan for restoring the economy. Whether it was Reid’s question, or Reid herself that irked Trump is up in the air. The CBS News White House correspondent has become one of his favorite targets in press briefings, after she asked him during an April briefing why his administration didn’t act sooner when they learned of the COVID-19 threat months earlier. Trump responded by calling her “fake” and “disgraceful.”
.@PaulaReidCBS asks why Trump hasn't announced a plan to get 36 million Americans back to work: "You’re overseeing historic economic despair. What’s the delay, where’s the plan?"
Trump: "I think we've announced a plan. We're opening up our country. Just a rude person, you are." pic.twitter.com/ZjnLRbIKFH
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 19, 2020
The president brought it up again in a May 5 interview with The New York Post, saying that the reporter “wasn’t Donna Reed, I can tell you that,” referring to the 1950s actress famous for portraying a housewife. “Paula Reid, she’s sitting there and I say, ‘How angry. I mean, What’s the purpose?’ They’re not even tough questions, but you see the attitude of these people, it’s like incredible.” She changed her Twitter bio to “not Donna Reed” after the interview surfaced.
Along with Reid, Trump has clashed with scores of female reporters during his coronavirus briefings. He told her CBS colleague, Weijia Jiang, in a patronizing tone, that she should take it “nice and easy” and “relax” after asking him why he was still holding campaign rallies in March. He also told Jiang, who was born in China and emigrated to the US when she was a toddler, to “ask China” about coronavirus testing. He recently called Deadline: White House host Nicolle Wallace “3rd rate lap dog” for defending former Vice President Joe Biden, and warned PBS NewsHour’s Yamiche Alcindor to “be nice, don’t be threatening” when she asked about sending aid to governors.