President Donald Trump had yet another combative debate with a reporter at his daily coronavirus task force media briefing over whether sunlight could aid in eradicating the virus.
The conflagration flared up when Philip Rucker of the Washington Post asked him if it was irresponsible to talk about sunlight and heat possibly disabling the threat from the coronavirus.
"Mister President, after the presentation that we just saw about the heat and the humidity," asked Rucker, "is it dangerous for you to make people think they would be safe by going outside in the heat, considering that so many people are dying in Florida, considering that this virus has had an outbreak in Singapore, places that are hot and are humid?"
"Yeah, here we go, here we go," Trump interrupted.
"The new headline is Trump asks people to go outside, that's dangerous, here we go! Same old group!" he smirked.
"You ready? I hope people enjoy the sun. And if it has an impact, that's great. I'm just hearing this, not really for the first time, I mean there's been a rumor that, you know, a very nice rumor, that you go outside in the sun, you have heat, and it does have an effect on other viruses," the president continued.
"But now we get it from one of the great laboratories of the world, I have to say. Covers a lot more territory than just this, this is probably an easy thing, relatively speaking, for you," he said to Dr. Deborah Birx, a coordinator on the coronavirus task force.
Trump was referring to a study by Homeland Security that theorized the virus might be killed by sunlight and heat. The president addressed Birx about the possibility of heat and sunlight helping ward off the coronavirus, but she said she had not heard of anything like that.
"Respectfully, sir," continued Rucker, "you're the president, and people tuning in to these briefings, they want to get information and guidance and want to know what to do; they're not looking for rumors."
"Hey, hey, Phil," Trump interrupted again.
"Hey Phil, I'm the president and you're fake news!" he fired out at the reporter.
"And you know what I'll say to you? I'll say it very nicely. I know you well. I know you well. Because I know the guy, I see what he writes, he's a total faker," Trump added.
"So, are you ready? Are you ready? Are you ready? It's just a suggestion from a brilliant lab by a very smart, perhaps brilliant man. He's talking about sun. He's talking about heat. And you see the numbers," he continued.
"So that's it, that's all I have, I'm just here to present talent," the president concluded. "I'm here to present ideas. Because we want ideas to get rid of this thing, and if heat is good, and if sunlight is good, that's a great thing as far as I'm concerned."
Other journalists defended Rucker on Twitter from the president's attacks.
Here's the video of the briefing encounter:
Trump torches the press: 'I'm the president and you're fake news' www.youtube.com