In the midst of battling a coronavirus epidemic, President Donald Trump marked a National Day of Prayer on Sunday with a virtual church service – and Twitter attacks on critics.
“I am watching a great and beautiful service by Pastor Jentezen Franklin. Thank you!,” tweeted Trump, who had said on Saturday he planned to tune in to a video stream of the service conducted by the organization Free Chapel.
Earlier Trump tweeted in all caps: “TODAY IS A NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER. GOD BLESS EVERYONE!”
Minutes before that, Trump sent out a tweet praising the organization Judicial Watch for legal work seeking documents from Democratic presidential candidate – former Secretary of State – Hillary Clinton about her e-mail use and the 2012 attack on a U.S. facility in Benghazi, Libya.
“Great Job by Judicial Watch,” Trump tweeted. “Potentially a treasure trove. Too bad you are not given more help, but it will all work out!”
Trump spent the morning tweeting and re-tweeting comments defending his response to the outbreak, including attacks on Democrats and the news media.
Almost 3,000 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the U.S., with a death toll of more than 50. Globally, more than 150,000 cases and almost 6,000 deaths have been reported.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, a frequent critic of Trump, said the administration’s response has been too slow, especially with respect to testing for coronavirus.
The “federal government, at least the last few days, has started to come alive and do something, but we are so far behind,” de Blasio said on CNN’s State of the Union.
Trump also addressed waiting lines at airports for people returning from trips overseas ahead of new travel restrictions.
“We are doing very precise Medical Screenings at our airports,” Trump tweeted. “Pardon the interruptions and delays, we are moving as quickly as possible, but it is very important that we be vigilant and careful. We must get it right. Safety first!”