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The short, strange tale of Stephanie Grisham, Trump's third - and invisible - press secretary

If the cancellation of the traditional press briefing defined the Grisham era, the introduction of the Trump version brought it to a close.

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Former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham on the South Lawn of the White House in July. Photo credit: Washingon Post photo by Jabin Botsford.

Former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham on the South Lawn of the White House in July. Photo credit: Washingon Post photo by Jabin Botsford.

The Washington Post

Former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham on the South Lawn of the White House in July. Photo credit: Washingon Post photo by Jabin Botsford.

In the sweep of things, March 9 wasn't so long ago. In the coronavirus era, it's an eternity.

Back then, the White House press secretary was still Stephanie Grisham and the White House was still minimising the threat of the new virus. That morning, the day the number of reported American Covid-19 cases jumped from 423 to 647, Grisham appeared on Fox News's "Fox & Friends" remotely from Palm Beach, Florida. "Right now, we're telling people to act as if this is a severe flu season," she said. "And, you know, wash your hands often."

The president wasn't worried, she added, because he "is quite a hand washer." Grisham critiqued those using the virus as "a tool to politicise things and to scare people."