On Tuesday Donald Trump's regular coronavirus press briefings resumed.

These were suspended back in April after they became problematic for the US president.

They were long and rambling, sometimes running for up to two hours.

He fought with reporters, promoted unproven treatments and wondered aloud if the ingestion of disinfectants could be used as a cure.

Mr Trump's return to the podium in recent days has been very different.

The briefings, thankfully, are shorter than before - wrapping up in 20 or 30 minutes.

There haven't been any clashes with reporters and there has been a notable change in tone.

Donald Trump has spent months downplaying the seriousness of the virus and claiming it would just disappear but on Tuesday he offered a more realistic outlook.

"It will probably unfortunately get worse before it gets better.Something I don't like saying about things, but that's the way it is," he warned.

Mr Trump said the rise in cases in parts of the US was concerning and he urged Americans to wear face masks, something which he has resisted doing in the past.

At Thursday night's briefing there was another surprise move with the president announcing that he was cancelling next month's Republican Convention in Jacksonville, Florida because of a spike in coronavirus cases there. 

He said it was not the right time to hold a "big, crowded convention" and that a different event was now being planned.

This would have been unthinkable just a few weeks ago, Donald Trump had moved his acceptance speech to Florida from North Carolina after authorities there demanded a scaled back event.

The White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany was asked by reporters on Friday what had prompted this U-turn.

She insisted there had been no change in tone.

"The only thing that's changed is the president taking dozens and dozens and dozens of your questions each and every day because he felt the best way to get information to the American people was for him to be out here, answering your questions and providing this directly," she said.

Donald Trump's new stance on the coronavirus no doubt has its roots in his low approval ratings.

He is well behind Joe Biden in the opinion polls and a majority of voters disapprove of his handling of the pandemic.

The US president's attempted return to the rally stage has been marred by poor attendances and cancellations. 

His return to the briefing room however offers him prime time TV coverage at a time when his hopes of resuming traditional campaigning have been dashed.

But how long will this change of tone on the coronavirus last?  We have been here before with Donald Trump - a surprise altering of his position on an issue only for him to revert to form with a tweet or public comment.

That could come sooner rather than later with new coronavirus lockdowns already starting to hit the fragile economic recovery.

The reopening of businesses in recent weeks had brought falls in unemployment which Donald Trump was eager to promote at hastily convened press conferences.

On Thursday, however, US jobless claims were worse than expected and higher than the previous week.

Accepting the seriousness of the coronavirus crisis will also mean accepting that things will not be returning to normal anytime soon. Businesses and schools will have stay closed and unemployment will remain high.

With an economic rebound in time for November's election now looking less likely, Donald Trump is hoping that a U-turn on the virus will bring an upturn in the polls.