Speaking with the press before departing for a rally in Charleston, South Carolina, late Friday afternoon, President Donald Trump offered additional details on his administration’s coronavirus prevention plans and also took further shots at Democrats and their media allies — particularly CNN — for politicizing this crisis.
Asked about the possibility of expanding his coronavirus-related travel restrictions to include Italy, he indicated that he’s considering it.
“Well, we’re looking at that right now and we’re looking at a couple of countries — a few countries that have a little bit disproportionately high number. And we’re going to make that decision very soon,” he said.
“[I]s this a hoax?” a reporter with CNN then asked. “Your chief of staff seemed to suggest that our coverage of this was a hoax. Do you think this is a hoax?”
The question was highly disingenuous, as the president and his top officials have repeatedly made it clear that they view coronavirus as a serious threat — and that their concerns about a “hoax” reference only the media’s distorted reporting on this threat.
“Well, I think that the media is — yes, I think that CNN is a very disreputable network. I think they’re doing everything they can to instill fear in people and I think it’s ridiculous. And I think they’re very disreputable,” the president replied.
Listen to his reply below (disable your adblocker if the video doesn’t appear):
The evidence strongly backs the president’s assertion about CNN.
For instance, not once in this week’s editions of CNN’s chief media correspondent Brian Stelter weekday newsletters has there been a single mention of a devastating fact-check by the Associated Press of all the lies that key Democrat figures have been making about the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus crisis.
Like the rest of his colleagues, instead Stelter and his team have been aiming their criticism solely at Republicans and their own media allies at Fox News.
According to an investigation by the conservative media watchdog group known as the Media Research Center, “Trump-bashing” has taken up a “majority of CNN’s coronavirus coverage.”
“MRC analysts identified 44 guest interviews on CNN between 6:00 am and 11:59 pm EST on February 27, 2020. Out of 136 questions that hosts asked about the epidemic, 82 (60%) invited guests – even medical specialists – to criticize the Trump administration’s handling of the epidemic,” the center confirmed Friday.
As the presser Friday afternoon continued, Trump then turned his attention to Democrats.
“And some of the Democrats are doing it the way it should be, but some of them are trying to gain political favor by saying a lot of untruths,” he stated.
The AP fact-check found that attempts by Democrats to describe the Trump administration as “rudderless and ill-prepared for the coronavirus threat” are “distorted.”
“The CDC’s response has been excellent, as it has been in the past,” John Auerbach, the president of the nonpartisan Trust for America’s Health, said to the AP.
Yet Democrats have been suggesting and sometimes outright saying otherwise, all in what appear to be bids to hurt Trump going into the 2020 race — and all in contradiction of the evidence.
“The fact is, I made one decision that was a very important decision and that was to close our country to a certain area of the world that was relatively heavily infected,” the president continued Friday.
“And because of that, we’re talking about [only] 15 [Americans who’ve been infected by coronavirus] — who seem to all be getting better. One is questionable.”
As noted by both the president and acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney during remarks made Friday, while Democrats and their media allies were fretting over the president’s impeachment last month, the administration was busy prepping for coronavirus.
The Do Nothing Democrats were busy wasting time on the Immigration Hoax, & anything else they could do to make the Republican Party look bad, while I was busy calling early BORDER & FLIGHT closings, putting us way ahead in our battle with Coronavirus. Dems called it VERY wrong!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 28, 2020
“Several weeks ago, we put restrictions on travelers coming in from China. … We did it over a month ago in this administration in order to prevent a further outbreak in this country. We took extraordinary steps four or five weeks ago. Why didn’t you hear about it? What was still going on four or five weeks ago?” Mulvaney said.
“Impeachment. And that’s all the press wanted to talk about. So while real news was happening, and we were dealing with it … the press was covering their hoax of the day because they thought it would bring down the president. The reason you’re seeing so much attention to it today is that they think this is what’s going to bring down the president. That’s what this is all about.”
He added that when he first appeared before Congress last month to talk about coronavirus, barely any members of Congress showed up for the hearing.
“My first meeting with Congress, face-to-face, was probably six weeks ago on coronavirus. … We take the medical experts down, we put them in front of Congress five, six weeks ago. Five senators show up. Ten, fifteen members of the House of Representatives show up. We were way ahead [of the issue],” he said.
Dovetailing back to the CNN reporter’s question — “do you think this is a hoax” — it speaks to attempts by the network and its allies to portray the Trump administration’s “hoax” concerns as it downplaying the threat posed by coronavirus.
But the administration’s extensive coronavirus prevention plans — some of which were initiated long before the virus made it onto the left’s radar — show otherwise, which raises questions about why Democrats and the media are lying.
At the rally in South Carolina later Friday evening, the president offered one possible reason.
“They tried the impeachment hoax. That was a perfect conversation. They tried anything. They tried it over and over again. They’ve been doing it since you got in. It’s all turning. They lost. And this is their new hoax,” he said.
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