Trump's late-night announcement that he and the first lady tested positive and are in quarantine raises a number of issues, from concerns over the nation's security to the future of the debates to how the media should cover a president who has often downplayed COVID-19. "This is going to present media w huge challenge: Of course, sympathy+ concern," tweeted former New York Times TV reporter Bill Carter, a CNN analyst. "But how much scrutiny-and how harsh-on the reckless policies, irresponsible disdain for masks+ science, etc? Sensitivity is essential. Not hyper-wary deference." As recently as Tuesday's debate, Trump mocked Joe Biden for constantly wearing a mask. “I wear masks when needed," said the president. "I don't wear masks like him. Every time you see him, he's got a mask. He could be speaking 200 feet away and he shows up with the biggest mask I've ever seen." Trump and the first lady will have to quarantine for the usual 14 days, and the next presidential debate just happens to be on Oct. 15, two weeks after the positive tests. "All of which could mean, as the bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates were already considering changes to avoid a repeat of the fracas of Tuesday night, a second debate it could be virtual at best if held at all," says Deadline's Dominic Patten. Fox News covered the news by repeatedly showing a mask-wearing Trump, even though the president has rarely worn masks in public during the pandemic. "Fox heavily favoring pics of Trump in a mask in their montage, but because there’s only like four pics of Trump in a mask, it’s basically like an 90s screensaver," tweeted New York Times columnist Farhad Manjoo. Meanwhile, Sean Hannity reacted by touting the ineffective COVID-19 therapeutic hydroxychloroquine. On CNN, Anderson Cooper anchored coverage until Don Lemon took over at 3 a.m. ET and said Trump was "party to blame" for his coronavirus diagnosis. Cooper, concerned about when Trump got tested, said "we're relying on the president's honesty," even though his administration has lied before. On MSNBC, Brian Williams anchored coverage and predicted the presidential debates will likely be scrapped.
TOPICS: Trump Presidency, CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, Anderson Cooper, Brian Williams, Chris Wallace, Don Lemon, Joe Biden, Karen Pence, Melania Trump, Mike Pence, Sean Hannity, 2020 Presidential Election, Cable News, Coronavirus