Last week, President Trump was hammered by some in the press for calling out a sensationalist reporter for NBC News who accused the president of being overly optimistic about the coronavirus. During that exchange, reporter Peter Alexander asked Trump if his “impulse to put a positive spin on things” could be giving Americans a “false sense of hope” amid the pandemic. Trump had stated he had a “good feeling” about possible solutions the FDA is working on.

The question triggered Trump, who unloaded on Alexander, calling him a "terrible reporter" and insisted that Alexander and NBC were simply attempting to sensationalize the COVID-19 crisis. CNN reported that Trump "viciously attacked" Alexander. Ah, yep. Out of nowhere and with no provocation what-so-ever!

This followed by only a couple of days a tirade by another dingbat in the press over the use of the term "Chinese virus" to describe the virus that originated in China.

Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have shown exemplary leadership in battling this crisis as indicated by even some of their harshest critics, including Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Gov. Gavin Newsom and Rep. Ilhan Omar. The Trump-Pence team has worked tirelessly to bring the public and private sectors together with some of the greatest minds in the world to defeat the coronavirus.

Even while under attack from an unfriendly press, Trump appears daily to bring not only new information but comfort and reassurance to the public. It's part of his job. In addition to being Commander-in-Chief, Trump is also comforter-in-chief. Trump takes his responsibility seriously and does the whole job well.

By being positive and upbeat about America and the challenges we face, Trump is elevating the spirits of the American people at a time when we need it most. The press speaks to us from the dark side of things where hope and optimism don't exist.

During World War II when the challenge appeared insurmountable, Johnny Mercer recorded a huge hit record called "Accentuate the Positive." Here are a few lines from that song that apply to today's situation:

You've got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
And latch on to the affirmative
Don't mess with Mister In-Between
You've got to spread joy up to the maximum
Bring gloom down to the minimum
Have faith or pandemonium's
Liable to walk upon the scene

No, Mr. Alexander, President Trump is not wrong to "put a positive spin on things."

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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