“His approval rating on the pandemic was higher when he was at the podium. It was 51 percent in March. I think people want to hear from the president of the United States,” Conway told reporters outside the White House on Friday morning.
Trump has still been addressing the pandemic and efforts to respond to it, including vaccine development, but a briefing would help boost his approval ratings, she said.
It’s no coincidence that public opinion of Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic was higher when he was personally attending briefings from the White House Coronavirus Task Force, the advisor said.
“There he was, with his doctors, and everybody was answering questions and presenting information when the news was very dire and very sad every day,” she added.
Daily briefings from Trump and members of the task force petered out in May. Since then, the group has rarely come together to hold press conferences, though they do regularly hold closed-door meetings.
The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Conway said the president may address the matter during his planned appearance on “Fox News Sunday” on July 19.
Trump in late April began questioning the briefings, charging that reporters asked “nothing but hostile questions” and refused to report accurately on updates.
He later said the task force will operate “indefinitely.”
Vice President Mike Pence, who heads the task force, has remained in close contact with members, Conway said.
But it would still be best if Trump holds the briefings, she added.
“I just think that people want to hear from the president of the United States. Doesn’t have to be daily. Doesn’t have to be for two hours. But in my view, it has to be,” Conway said.