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‘That’s not what he said’: Trump skewers journo for using WaPo’s misleading headline on fall infection prediction

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It’s no wonder tens of millions of Americans are confused about details surrounding the coronavirus outbreak in the United States.

They’re not being very well informed by the Trump-deranged ‘mainstream media.’

Instead of focusing on reporting factually, honestly, and with an eye towards keeping the country abreast of the latest developments in the battle to flatten the curve and get our country reopened for business, they focus on the inane, emphasize the trite, and engage in nonsensical ‘gotcha’ games with the president and his staff.

The latest victim of this pathetic game of ‘How can we embarrass Trump today?’ is Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And the perpetrator is the Washington Post.

In an interview with the paper, Redfield was accurately quoted as saying he believes it’s possible coronavirus will return in the fall and that it will be difficult to determine whether Americans are suffering from COVID-19 or influenza.

“There’s a possibility that the assault of the virus on our nation next winter will actually be even more difficult than the one we just went through,” he said. “And when I’ve said this to others, they kind of put their head back, they don’t understand what I mean. We’re going to have the flu epidemic and the coronavirus epidemic at the same time.”

What was the Post’s headline? “CDC director warns second wave of coronavirus is likely to be even more devastating.”

Point blank: That is not what CDC Director Redfield said, and you don’t have to be a linguist or an expert in the English language to determine that.

The doctor merely stated that the combination of the two illnesses will make it “more difficult” because we may have to deal with a pair of epidemics that resemble each other in terms of symptoms.

And what’s more, the Post’s editors knew that when they wrote the headline. But since they also know scores of people will only read the headline and not the story, they were trying to convey the message that we’re in for it big time later this year, and the head of the CDC even said so!

In kicking off his Wednesday coronavirus press conference, President Trump drew attention to the Post’s misleading headline by calling the paper “fake news,” while Redfield followed to correct the record.

“I didn’t say this was going to be worse. I said this was going to be more difficult and potentially complicated because we’ll have flu and coronavirus circulating at the same time,” Redfield noted.

And you can read for yourself the quote above that is precisely what he was getting at during the Post interview. So clearly, the quote and the headline do not match.

ABC News’ Jon Karl read off the quote the Post ran and got Redfield to confirm that was an accurate quote of his.

“You are accurately quoted, correct?” Karl asked.

Redfield said his quote within the story was accurate but called the headline “inappropriate.”

As Redfield sat back down, another reporter tried to ask why Redfield tweeted the story out if he didn’t think it was correct.

Who knows? Who cares

Whatever the reason, the fact is, the headline and the quote do not match; the quote is accurate, but the headline is grossly misleading.

Nevertheless, some of the usual Left-wing media suspects sounded off in support of the Post because they’re the usual Left-wing media suspects.

Except, the president didn’t say Redfield was misquoted; his issue — and Redfield’s — was with the headline.

Lost in all of this mealy-mouthed back-and-forth is the fact that Redfield thinks we may have difficulty in the fall determining who has COVID-19 and who has the regular flu.

No wonder Americans tune out the daily media circus. They can see clowns almost anywhere.

Jon Dougherty

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