Editor’s Note: Michael D’Antonio is the author of the book “Never Enough: Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success” and co-author with Peter Eisner of “The Shadow President: The Truth About Mike Pence.” The opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author. View more opinion articles on CNN.
Surrounded by a cushion of businessmen and advisers, President Donald Trump took yet another stab at addressing the nation on the coronavirus crisis Friday — announcing a “national emergency,” and some measures to fight the spreading disease — and performed in such an underwhelming fashion that you have to wonder whether something is wrong.
His voice tight, his eyes narrowed, the President seemed at first unfocused and low energy — perhaps overwhelmed.
Fortunately, he brought help with him in the form of government health experts Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx, who fielded reporters’ questions in the Rose Garden appearance and offered plainspoken facts about the nature of the pandemic and how public health measures can help. Fauci is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, and Birx is the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator.
As schools close, public gatherings are curtailed and those with symptoms self-quarantine, the rise in infections may be slowed, they reassured, and the most vulnerable may be protected.
To his credit Trump voiced the kind of policy specifics — including freeing up $50 billion in federal resources to fund health departments and facilitate testing — that were missing when he faced the nation in a disastrous Oval Office address Wednesday.