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CNN political commentator Jake Tapper invited White House trade adviser Peter Navarro onto “State of the Union” this Sunday to talk about the president’s joke about how he’d asked his people to “slow the [coronavirus] testing down.”
During President Donald Trump’s rally in Tulsa the night before, he’d specifically pointed out that increased coronavirus testing means increased coronavirus cases, and then joked about it by saying, “So I said to my people slow the testing down.”
It was obviously a joke, but Tapper didn’t understand that. Big surprise.
Watch the relevant part of the discussion below:
White House adviser Peter Navarro calls President Trump’s claims he ordered officials in his administration to slow down coronavirus testing “tongue and cheek” and “a light moment.” #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/1p1HV9IK6Y
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) June 21, 2020
“I want to start on what the president said about coronavirus testing at his rally last night, which alarmed quite a few health experts,” Tapper said as the discussion began.
It’s not clear who these health experts are. Perhaps they’re the same health “experts” who last month published an open letter claiming that gathering in groups of thousands to protests on behalf of Black Lives Matter is perfectly fine.
After Tapper played a clip of Trump reciting the joke, Navarro promptly replied, “Come on now, Jake. You know it was tongue-in-cheek. Come on now. That was tongue-in-cheek. Please.”
Now, while that same argument might work when dealing with normal human beings, Navarro was dealing with a CNN commentator.
“I don’t know that it was tongue-in-cheek at all. He’s said similar things for months,” Tapper replied.
But there’s a difference between complaining about something and taking action. The president has admittedly complained several times about increased testing, but only because the media have been using the increased positives to disseminate a false narrative.
And this isn’t a “right-wing talking point.” It’s even been noted by statistician Nate Silver, who’s anything but “right-wing”:
Not providing context on the increase in testing is such a basic error, and has been so widespread, that it’s revealing about the media’s goals. It’s more interested in telling plausibly-true stories (“narratives”) that sound smart to its audience than in accuracy/truth per se. https://t.co/abYbgkVFbj
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) May 7, 2020
Navarro replied by dismissing Tapper’s bad-faith complaint and asking that they switch to “serious issues.”
“We’ve got over 30 million people unemployed, and we’ve seen over 100,000 people die because of the China Wuhan virus. Let’s talk about some serious issues, Jake. I don’t want to go there. I think there’s some really important things,” he said.
Tapper quickly rebutted, “I think testing is a very serious issue.”
So does the Trump administration, which has been responsible for performing over 25,000,000 coronavirus tests, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest update:
“I’m not the one making jokes about it. You’re the one that said the president was being tongue-in-cheek,” Tapper added.
“We’re 60 seconds into a tongue-and-cheek thing, ask and think. I think what’s important going on in this world today are things like John Bolton publishing a book,” an increasingly annoyed Navarro replied as he tried to change the topic.
“Here’s the breaking news for you. I read the judge’s decision on that. And I want to say this: Highly classified information in that book, and the FBI should be turning in ….”
He was then cut off by Tapper, who obsessively chose to return the discussion to the president’s joke, because to him THAT was what really mattered.
“I want to get to Bolton in a second, but I still want to talk about the pandemic for a second,” he said. “Fine, you think it’s tongue-in-cheek. I’m saying almost 120,000 Americans are dead. I’m not sure that a deadly pandemic where almost 120,000 are dead is really a good subject for a light moment.”
Yet he’s never once uttered the same words about this:
— Climate Dispatch (@ccdeditor) May 21, 2020
“The CDC says that this type of gathering, ‘large in-person gatherings where it’s difficult for individuals to remain spaced at least six feet apart and attendees travel from outside the local area,’ poses the ‘highest risk,'” he continued.
“The CDC also urges to wear masks. That wasn’t happening last night. I guess the second question I have is you and the administration are constantly telling the American people, us, to adhere to CDC guidelines. I respect that.”
No, he doesn’t. It was only two days ago that he defended the Black Lives Matter “protesters” who were planning to congregate outside the president’s rally and stir up trouble, which they did:
Protesters have a Constitutionally-guaranteed right to peaceably assemble. https://t.co/H82HTXkxxE
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) June 19, 2020
He’s probably likely also among the many left-wing commentators who defended the Black Lives Matter “protesters,” looters, rioters and murderers who’d wreaked havoc across the country following Minneapolis black man George Floyd’s death.
“I think that that’s good advice,” Tapper continued. “But then the president has an event like this that flies in the face of them. Isn’t that a bad example?”
He neglected to mention that rallygoers at Saturday’s event received a temperature check, some hand sanitizer and a mask before even entering the event.
Before entering each guest will get:
There will be precautions for the heat and bottled water as well.
— Brad Parscale (@parscale) June 15, 2020
Nice try, though.
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