Publicly, he sees it as yet another (“Fake News”) media war; privately, he worries about virus-carrying journalists on Air Force One. But cancel his rallies? “I’m not going to do it,” he says.
Ever since the coronavirus exploded outside of China at the end of January, Donald Trump has treated the public health crisis as a media war that he could win with the right messaging. But with cases now documented in 34 states and markets plunging, Republicans close to Trump fear his rosy assessments are fundamentally detached from reality in ways that will make the epidemic worse. “He is trying to control the narrative and he can’t,” a former West Wing official told me.