Senator Marco Rubio ignited a firestorm on the left after he slammed the liberal media for its “grotesque” reporting on the number of reported coronavirus cases.
The Florida Republican called out the media for the “glee & delight” in reporting that the U.S. had surpassed China in confirmed COVID-19 cases, questioning whether the data being released by the Chinese government could even be trusted.
“Some in our media can’t contain their glee & delight in reporting that the U.S. has more #CoronaVirus cases than #China,” Rubio tweeted on Sunday. “Beyond being grotesque, it’s bad journalism.”
The Florida lawmaker, an outspoken critic of China, also suggested that the number of coronavirus cases in that country was likely to be “significantly more than why they admit to.”
Beyond being grotesque,its bad journalism
We have NO IDEA how many cases China really has but without any doubt its significantly more than why they admit to
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) March 29, 2020
The global pandemic, which originated in Wuhan, affected the highest number of people in China and Italy for a time before the U.S. gained the unfortunate first place ranking for the most reported cases in the world. As the outbreak spread, and more tests became available to confirm the presence of the illness, the numbers in the U.S. reached over 143,000 cases as of Monday morning, with over 2,500 deaths.
China confirmed just over 82,000 confirmed cases, according to numbers reported by Johns Hopkins, and about 3,300 deaths.
Rubio’s tweet set off a wave of responses filled with rage that the senator would suggest the media enjoyed reporting the rising U.S. numbers versus those in China.
Senator, either you have no clue what you’re talking about or you’re being a jerk. I have friends in this industry who have the virus. We have to make exceptionally challenging calls about sending reporters into hot spots or places where they could get it. Do better.
— Sam Stein (@samstein) March 29, 2020
Journalists are concentrated in cities that are being ravaged by a plague that could have been better contained with a competent president. They’re lonely and scared and reporting while homeschooling their kids. No one feels glee or delight. Some of us feel white hot rage.
— Michelle Goldberg (@michelleinbklyn) March 29, 2020
Delight? Glee? Please think about that a little. I haven’t seen any such reaction among my colleagues. If you have. I’d be interested to know who you think is gleeful. We report facts. Which are sometimes inconvenient for those who dislike facts.
— Anne Rumsey Gearan (@agearan) March 30, 2020
Glee and delight? Every journalist I know is terrified about being laid off right now. People are dying. You had the chance to remove Trump from office in January and looked the other way even though you know he’s corrupt and incompetent. Now look where we are.
— Molly Knight (@molly_knight) March 29, 2020
Many more blasted Rubio, citing personal stories of sobering reports and friends dealing with the illness. Some begrudgingly admitted that the senator may have a point, however, about the questionable numbers from China.
This is exceedingly ugly. Probably just about every journalist writing about this has someone they love who would be at risk of dying if they caught it. I personally think about that all the time.
— Aaron Blake (@AaronBlake) March 29, 2020
This is dumb. There is no “glee & delight.” Some in media definitely are citing the US-China numbers without full context to slam Trump, but I doubt anybody wants the prospect of getting sick or losing their jobs. https://t.co/PniVD9odSb
— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) March 29, 2020
But Rubio’s take, that the media is reporting whatever China says, was backed up by others like Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
It’s even worse. We KNOW China is lying. On 3/1, China had 80,026 reported cases. On 3/28, it had 81,439. Does anyone believe this highly contagious virus just stopped in China on 3/1, right as it became a pandemic worldwide? And American media (for $$) willingly repeat the lies. https://t.co/GovCf3G825
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) March 29, 2020
Nationally syndicated radio host Mark Levin agreed with Rubio and called out the “many classless, immature, agenda-driven jerks” in the media.
Marco Rubio, and others, are quite right. So much of the media are simply awful. So many classless, immature, agenda-driven jerks.https://t.co/63wPT5LklG
— Mark R. Levin (@marklevinshow) March 29, 2020
Others also came to Rubio’s defense, with a few pointing to a tweet from GQ correspondent Julia Ioffe.
If only reporters had the same energy digging into China’s numbers as they display digging into @marcorubio’s tweet calling them out for ignoring the truth.
— Reagan Battalion (@ReaganBattalion) March 29, 2020
Those attacking Marco Rubio and white knighting for journalists are doing an awful good job at pretending tweets like this don’t exist. https://t.co/abOVcgcI80
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) March 29, 2020
When shampeachment failed, press pivoted to coronavirus to incite hysteria, tank the economy & hurt Trump.
Now, WH briefings are reassuring Americans that Trump is on it. Mnuchin & McConnell stimulus calmed the economic waters.
New press line? See! Communist country better.🤨
— Practice Social Distancing (@emilykholcomb) March 29, 2020
There was no reason to jump on the “U.S. is number one in Coronavirus cases!” unless you’re so partisan it ruined your critical facilities.
— Frank J. Fleming (@IMAO_) March 29, 2020
And a new report indicated that residents of Wuhan are estimating the number of deaths is much higher than what China has been reporting.
To prove Marco Rubio wrong, all the NY Times, Wash Post, NBC, CNN have to do is put this out on blast and write their own version of it for web or print. https://t.co/fDEg8z7mqL
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) March 29, 2020
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