A CNN “State of the Union” panel grew heated on Sunday morning after a defender of Donald Trump laughingly attempted to downplay inaccurate comments made by the president about the growing coronavirus epidemic.
With host Jake Tapper noting that the president has continually made false claims about the growing epidemic, lobbyist and conservative panelist David Urban smirked and said that the president should leave it to the professionals — but seemed unconcerned by the damage the president is doing.
“If I was the president, just let those guys speak. The president is trying to be the calmer-in-chief here and say, ‘listen, people, stick to the facts, just wash your hands.’ I understand your — ” Urban stated before being cut off.
“He doesn’t stick to the facts,” host Tapper corrected him. “He says things that aren’t true.”
With Urban urging everyone to “calm down” and listen to other White House officials, conservative commentator Linda Chavez pulled him up short.
“The problem is, David, you can say if anybody wants a test they can get it, but people who are coughing and hacking show up and can’t get the test,” Chavez lectured him. “He should calm the American public, we should not overreact, but the worst thing you want to do if you want to keep people calm is to speak mistruths.”
Panelist Bakari Sellers then piled on.
“This is a public health crisis,” he scolded. “This doesn’t need Republican talking points. All of us have elderly grandparents to worry about, I have an immunosuppressed daughter who is devastatingly afraid. I’m tired of the political BS. I wish we had [Surgeon] General Jerome Adams at the forefront more often because he’s more reassuring. What I don’t want is the president of the United States lying to me.”
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‘Very Large Acceleration’: World Health Organization Warns US Could Become Epicenter of Global Coronavirus Crisis
The World Health Organization (WHO) is warning that the United States of America could become the epicenter of the global coronavirus pandemic, based on a “very large acceleration” in cases.
“They have a very large outbreak and an outbreak that is increasing in intensity,” says WHO spokesperson Margaret Harris, according to The Daily Beast.
The news comes as President Donald Trump and his supporters at Fox News are waging a campaign to loosen or end CDC protocols recommending people stay at home and observe social/physical distancing rules of six feet separation. On Twitter Trump insisted “WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF.” He has repeated that line on national television, and Fox News has made the same argument.
“So far,” The Guardian notes, “46,450 people in the US have become infected with the virus and there have been 593 deaths, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University.”
Medical experts agree this is just the beginning of the pandemic and it will get far worse before it gets better.
‘This Is a Failed Approach’: GOP Disaster Response Expert Demolishes Trump’s Actions During Crisis
Rory Cooper, a lifelong Republican who worked on disaster response after the 9/11 terrorist attacks under former President George W. Bush, thinks that President Donald Trump is still absolutely blowing the response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Writing in The Daily Beast, Cooper slammed Trump for getting into Twitter fights with Democratic governors at a time when the administration needs to have good working relationships with governors regardless of party affiliation.
“This is a failed approach that the White House needs to correct fast,” he writes. “Close coordination and cooperation with state and local officials is absolutely critical in a crisis like this… After 9/11, as a staffer in the White House Homeland Security Council, I was a point of contact for those officials as we coordinated our ongoing response to the threat of global terrorism. The Bush White House team developed very close, cordial, and trusting relationships with state and local partners that transcended politics.”
He then shredded the president for continuing to nurse petty grievances at a time when all his focus should be on containing the spread of the virus.
The morning after the airport disaster, the president was tweeting just like [Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker] — but his tweets, incredibly, were about Hillary Clinton’s emails,” he writes. “Later Trump tweeted that governors and local officials were responsible for coronavirus testing problems, which showed an extraordinary degree of hubris and inanity.”
Watch: After Doing Fox News Gig HHS Secretary Blows Off White House Reporters’ Coronavirus Questions, Just Walks Away
Markets are crashing in large part over the Trump administration’s incompetence and total inability to inspire confidence in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. The DOW a few minutes ago was down more than 2100 points, a historic sell-off following a week where the market saw its steepest one-day decline since the 2008 global financial crisis.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar is under fire given he is one of the top Trump administration officials directly in charge of any health crisis response. Under his watch the CDC has grossly bungled the coronavirus testing and experts say the U.S, is totally unprepared to handle this disaster.
Reporters were angered by Secretary Azar’s refusal to answer their questions Monday afternoon, pointing out to the HHS chief that he had time for a Fox News interview but would not take questions from the White House press pool – a group far less likely to give him a pass.
Here’s Secretary Azar at 10:35 AM telling Fox News what a great job President Trump is doing, and that the president’s top focus is the coronavirus outbreak. He’s then forced to admit, “I haven’t spoken to the president yet this morning,” which seems to destroy his claim. (Trump spent the morning at a $4 million Florida fundraiser, after spending the weekend golfing.)
HHS Director Alex Azar to Fox News: “I haven’t spoken to the president yet this morning.” pic.twitter.com/xsRdn56aD5
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) March 9, 2020
Here’s Secretary Azar speaking just outside the White House late Monday morning ditching reporters and refusing to answer their questions.
Those questions included, “Do you still not know how many people have been tested for coronavirus?”, “What’s your plan for the unemployed?”, and “Where are the tests? Have they been delivered?”
Not cool. After doing appearance on @foxnews & @FoxBusiness Secretary Azar refuses to answer questions from dozens of reporters (who waited almost an hour). #coronavirus #CoronavirusOutbreak #marketcrash #COVID #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/gxEosajCDh
— Paula Reid (@PaulaReidCBS) March 9, 2020
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