This was supposed to be the moment. A changed tone. Tamped-down rhetoric. A sober approach to the coronavirus.

Breathless anchors rushed to share the new perspective of the president, a return to daily briefings, and a renewed respect for the virus that has claimed so many. Finally, he acknowledged that the virus would probably “get worse before it gets better.”

Gone was the bravado of the Chinese travel ban. Gone was “it’s going to just disappear.” Gone was…