MSNBC’s Chris Hayes buried in backlash, floats inflated virus models purposefully used to claim victory

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MSNBC’s Chris Hayes was roasted for a tweet peddling what some called out as a conspiracy theory about President Donald Trump and his coronavirus task force.

An effort by the “All In” host to trash the president and his administration for the handling of the global pandemic earned Hayes quick social media backlash on Wednesday.

“The most cynical interpretation of all this, one I can’t quite bring myself to accept, is they rolled out the model showing 100k deaths after they knew it would be less than that so they could anchor everyone to that # and take a vicotry(sic) lap when ‘only’ tens of thousands died,” Hayes wrote.

He appeared to be accusing the Trump administration of inflating the projected number of coronavirus deaths, reacting to a video of the president talking about the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and how the goal was to keep the death count to a minimum.

“If we can stay substantially under the 100,000 — which was the original projection — I think we did a very good job,” Trump said at the daily task force briefing on Wednesday.

Though Hayes claimed he couldn’t bring himself to “accept” the theory, he floated it out to his 2.1 million Twitter followers. He was quickly blasted for throwing Drs. Deborah Birx and Anthony Fauci into the mix as part of the “they” in his remark.

Hayes attempted to defend himself as he replied to many of the comments trashing him.

“I think I’d distinguish between the integrity of the model and the good-faith reasons for them using (which I don’t actually really question) and the macabre strangeness of it as this very explicit benchmark of ‘success’ that he articulates over and over as thousands of ppl die,” he wrote in one reply.

“I said I can’t bring myself to accept it!” he wrote, responding to a tweet from Washington Examiner‘s Tim Carney. “But he’s been very, very weird about ‘coming in under the model’ in this unnerving, disassociated way.” (*Language warning)

The conspiracy theory “doesn’t quite hold up,” FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver tweeted, prompting Hayes to fire back that “it doesn’t hold up as a matter of the knowability of the future, but there’s a question – unanswered! – about when/how the IHME model became the focal point and the one they chose to walk everyone through *when* they did.”

He continued to spin in a circle as he tried to walk back his comments, claiming he was “saying there’s a narrower question of when and why the WH chose to adopt and publicize the specific model they did when they did.”

But Twitter users saw through his dance routine. (*Language warning)

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Frieda Powers

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