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CNN’s Jim Acosta tries to pin Pence against Trump after POTUS called Gov. Jay Inslee a ‘snake’

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Vice President Mike Pence had to assure chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta on Friday that, despite President Donald Trump’s defensive rhetoric in the face of the coronavirus crisis, the health and safety of the American people remain his top priority.

The reassurance was prompted by Acosta complaining about the president having described Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee as a “snake” during a press conference he’d held earlier in the day at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It was also prompted by the president having compared the administration’s coronavirus testing kits to his “perfect” phone call last summer with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

“Mr. Vice president, just a short while ago, the president described Governor Inslee of Washington state, who you just met with yesterday, as a ‘snake,'” Acosta bemoaned.

“He also described the coronavirus test, compared it to the phone call that he had with the leader of Ukraine. Is the president addressing the situation with the seriousness it requires?”

Listen to the VP’s full response below (disable your adblocker if the video doesn’t appear):

“Well, I promise you that President Trump has no higher priority than the health and safety of the American people,” Pence replied. “And he’s assembled an extraordinary group of Americans and agencies. I’m a little more than a week into leading the White House coronavirus effort, and I couldn’t be more proud and more impressed with the team that the president assembled.”

“But I think your first question is a very important one, Jim. And I appreciate it,” he politely continued. “The president’s exactly right, that for the state laboratories, for the communities that have been impacted, that have concerns about the coronavirus, we have been able to respond to requests for tests.”

The VP added that providing coronavirus testing kits to the American people has become such a top priority that, unbeknownst to most Americans, the president has enlisted the help of the country’s two top labs to get the job done.

“[F]or the American public to have access to the coronavirus tests, it’s the reason the president brought in this week all of the CEOs of the top commercial laboratories in the country. They’re the ones that we believed could spin up a new test very rapidly. They have enormous logistics and manufacturing capabilities,” he explained.

“And we said to them, ‘We want you to work together,’ because while all state labs can now conduct their own tests … to get it all across the American people … it’s going to require these commercial labs, and the good news is — it didn’t get too widely reported — both LabCorp and Quest, two of the largest commercial labs in the country, just announced that by Monday, they will have tests available for distribution and sale across the country.”

You won’t hear about it from CNN and other partisan networks, but what he said was accurate.

(Google Search results as of 5:50 am, 3/7/20)

“Diagnostics company Laboratory Corp of America Holdings said on Thursday it will make its coronavirus test available for ordering by healthcare providers from 6 p.m. ET, as the U.S. government ramps up efforts to increase diagnostic capabilities,” Reuters confirmed Thursday.

“The news comes as Quest Diagnostics Inc and OPKO Health Inc also said they would be able to begin testing for the virus from next week.”

The announcement came a day after FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb used Twitter to call on LabCorp and Quest to “get in the game.”

Look:

Not included in the vice president’s reply to Acosta was an explanation for why the president had derided Inslee as a “snake” in the first place.

Speaking at the CDC earlier Friday, the president bashed Inslee in response to the Washington state governor having first bashed him.

After Pence graciously called the governor last week to thank him for his efforts in combating the especially fatal coronavirus outbreak in his far-left-wing state, he took to Twitter to talk trash like a classless snake:

This prompted the president, who’s not known for turning the other cheek, to argue Friday that Inslee’s the type of radical left-winger whose Trump Derangement Syndrome will forever prevent him from behaving like a normal human being.

“The vice president went to the Seattle area yesterday with Governor Inslee. He was very complimentary of Washington’s response. The governor was a little less complimentary of your response,” a reporter noted to him.

“I told Mike not to be complimentary of the governor because that governor is a snake, okay?” the president promptly replied. “I said if you are nice to him, he will take advantage and I would have said no. Let me just tell you we have a lot of problems with the governor. … The governor of Washington, that’s where you have many of your problems, okay?”

Fact-check: TRUE.

Vivek Saxena

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