CNN anchor Don Lemon tears into Donald Trump’s botched coronavirus handling after losing his friend, LGBT+ activist Robby Browne to the virus

Don Lemon Donald Trump coronavirus COVID-19

CNN anchor Don Lemon slammed Donald Trump for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic after losing a close friend, the LGBT+ activist and property developer Robby Browne, to the disease.

Browne was a much-loved LGBT+ campaigner and philanthropist who raised millions for HIV-related causes. He had been fighting cancer for a number of years, and died on Saturday (April 11) after contracting COVID-19.

The United States now has almost 600,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 23,000 people have died, prompting many to question Donald Trump’s leadership during the crisis.

The president’s handling of the pandemic was brought into sharp focus at a botched press conference yesterday, during which the president argued with reporters, played a campaign video produced by White House staff, and insisted his power is “total”.

CNN’s Don Lemon subsequently lashed out at Trump for using the vital moment to campaign for his own re-election.

In an emotional broadcast, Lemon said millions of Americans have put “their lives on hold” in an effort to stem the spread of COVID-19 and questioned why Trump’s press conference was “all about defending himself”.

Don Lemon slammed Donald Trump for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

He accused the president of “gaslighting, rewriting history, instead of giving Americans the facts”.

“I lost a very good friend this weekend,” Lemon said, referring to Browne.

“I wanted to hear from the president how he’s going to stop that from happening. Instead, I got a campaign video — what do I need a campaign video for?

He continued: “I want to know how you’re going to stop my loved ones from dying. I don’t need a campaign video, Mr President. How are you going to keep friends and loved ones from dying?

“It is crystal clear from what happened today that the president’s top priority is defending himself rather than focusing on the health and wellbeing of the American people.

“He is a president who seems to think that he is a king. This is America – we don’t have monarchs here.”

After playing a clip of Trump’s disastrous press conference, Lemon continued: “Listen, I’m not a doctor, but I am a man of a certain age — I’ve been around for a while, I know a narcissist when I see one.

“This is the height of narcissism to stand at a White House briefing during a pandemic that has killed over 23,000 Americans, and to spend it on the president defending his poor performance. That’s right, a poor performance.”

He also slammed Trump for his refusal to take any responsibility for the rapid spread of the virus in the United States

“Authority without responsibility — does that make sense?” he said.

The CNN anchor said the president has shown no leadership in his handling of COVID-19.

Lemon continued: “That is as far from showing leadership as it gets, and that is what was on full display today America. It is sad.

“Lashing out at reporters, at this point it is an obvious tactic. He wants to fight with the press, he wants to look tough, so he fights with the press, when he should be concentrating on fighting this virus with everything he’s got.

Lemon then hit out at Trump for playing a campaign-style video at the press conference “like it was a rally”. He called the clip a “propaganda video” and said it was designed to convince American people that he took “strong decisive action” against the coronavirus.

“Except he didn’t,” Lemon said.

He concluded: “These are the facts: we bought some time in January, there was a partial travel ban — partial, not a full ban — and then we squandered that time in February on falsehoods and minimising. And no gaslighting can ever make that go away. And it can’t bring people back – people whose lives could have been saved.”