It has “never been more important” for the White House to be fully transparent with the American people, chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett said on “CBS This Morning” hours after President Trump and the first lady tested positive for COVID-19.
“This is a time, whether this White House is prepared for it or not, for maximum transparency,” Garrett said Friday. “Everyone in the world wants to know what happened, why, how well the president is, what therapies, if any, he is taking, and how he’s doing.”
The president’s positive COVID-19 diagnosis has already sent shockwaves through global stock markets, with stock futures falling as analysts and investors worry over the severity of the president’s illness.
While it’s possible Mr. Trump has “a mild case and gets through this rather rapidly,” Garrett said, questions the White House “has to wrap its arms around” remain.
“The key is how did this happen, what is the contact tracing, what does that look like to the American public?” he asked. “How do you reassure rattled investors, how do you reassure allies, how do you tell others who wish us ill, ‘Don’t play with this because I’m fine, the president’s intact, and I’ll get better’?”
He said the White House would have to account for its “cavalier” attitude toward setting coronavirus protocols.
“There weren’t protocols — they were preferences. And the preference was not to social distance, not to wear masks, and that’s the problem,” Garrett said.