President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence had separate moments of prayer over the course of last week, and the media could barely hide its disdain.
First, images emerged of Trump being prayed over by a group of black Trump-supporting and conservative notables on Feb. 27. Former NFL player Jack Brewer told Trump that he was “the first black president” during the roundtable discussion. Then, Pence was seen praying with his coronavirus emergency team on March 1.
Reporters appeared to mock the decision to pray, taking particular offense to Pence’s photos.
“They’re treating this disease with the seriousness and urgency they bring to gun violence…” contributing writer for New York Times Magazine Thomas Chatterton Williams tweeted.
Mike Pence and his coronavirus emergency team praying for a solution. We are so screwed. pic.twitter.com/p020FBIK9J
— Thomas Chatterton Williams ???? ???? (@thomaschattwill) March 1, 2020
Playboy White House correspondent and CNN political analyst Brian Karem wrote that the administration is in over its head, citing the prayer photos as proof.
“Clear that @VP [Pence] and @realDonaldTrump are in over their heads,” Karem tweeted. “POTUS is literally praying for a miracle to make coronavirus go away.”
Jordan Uhl, the former campaign director for the left-wing activist group Media Matters for America, mocked Trump’s decision to put Pence in charge of the coronavirus task force. He suggested that Pence’s place would involved “praying [that] god protects us.”
very excited to hear all about pence’s coronavirus response plan: praying god protects us https://t.co/IvwZHjrhBW
— jordan (@JordanUhl) February 26, 2020
“As coronavirus concerns have heightened, in the past 24 hrs Trump has met w/ the actors of a low budget play about the Deep State, met w/ pro-Trump African American leaders and celebrities including Diamond and Silk, left for a political rally and resumed troll tweeting 2020 Dems,” Sam Stein, politics editor at the Daily Beast, tweeted.
News publications also struggled to hide their disdain over the decision to pray, with many of them framing negative articles around Pence’s pictures. The same publications largely chose to ignore Trump’s pictures depicting black notables praying over him.
Upon hearing that Trump pegged Pence to oversee the government’s response to coronavirus, publications such as NBC News and Vox were quick to point out Pence also said he would pray in 2015 following an HIV outbreak in Indiana.
The New York Times published an article with all of the late-night hosts who slammed the administration’s response to the virus, including quotes mocking Pence for praying. The same publication published an op-ed, written as a letter to the editor from a reader, titled “Mike Pence vs. the Coronavirus.”
“A reader cites the vice president’s response to previous health emergencies like AIDS, when he urged prayer,” the article reads. (RELATED: President Trump Appoints Vice President Pence To Head Coronavirus Task Force)