Meghan McCain: Trump may use coronavirus as 'draconian' power grab 'akin to the Patriot Act'

Meghan McCainMeghan Marguerite McCainCrowds flock to Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks over Memorial Day weekend CNN's Cuomo pulls out massive cotton swab to tease brother after live COVID-19 test Meghan McCain indicates she'll vote for Biden: 'Politics is personal' MORE on Monday said she fears President TrumpDonald John TrumpMulvaney: 'We've overreacted a little bit' to coronavirus Former CBS News president: Most major cable news outlets 'unrelentingly liberal' in 'fear and loathing' of Trump An old man like me should be made more vulnerable to death by COVID-19 MORE may exploit the coronavirus pandemic for a “draconian” power grab “akin to the Patriot Act" signed into law shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

“There is an argument being made by some people in media that the press conferences shouldn’t be being covered," McCain said on "The View," referring to the daily coronavirus task force briefings led by the president.

"My argument for keeping the press conferences is I think we’re at a place where President Trump, he’s always been a sort of totalitarian president, in a way that we’ve never historically seen before,” she said.

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“My fear is that he’s going to play on the American public’s fears in a draconian way and possibly do something akin to the Patriot Act going forward where he uses this moment in time to play off our fears for his own benefit." 

Less than two months after the 9/11 attacks, the Patriot Act passed by a 357-66 vote in the House and 98-1 in the Senate. 

The act substantially expanded government surveillance powers in the war on terrorism. Critics charge it went too far.

Trump's approval on his handling of the coronavirus crisis stands at 49.8 percent, according to the RealClearPolitics index of major polls, with disapproval at 47.7 percent.