Feb 27, 2020
In the U.S., President Trump has sought repeatedly to dismiss the threat of the coronavirus, tweeting on Wednesday morning, “Low Ratings Fake News MSDNC (Comcast) & CNN are doing everything possible to make the Caronavirus look as bad as possible, including panicking markets, if possible. Likewise their incompetent Do Nothing Democrat comrades are all talk, no action. USA in great shape!” President Trump tweeted, misspelling the word “coronavirus.”
Trump’s comments prompted alarm among lawmakers — both Democrats and Republicans. This is Democratic Congressmember Joe Kennedy of Massachusetts questioning Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on Wednesday.
Rep. Joe Kennedy: “Mr. Secretary, I don’t want to panic over this, either. The stock market’s crashing. He’s trying to stop a stock market. He’s not trying — he’s outright contradicting everything that you all have just said. Outright contradiction.”
HHS Secretary Alex Azar: “I think he’s expressing confidence in” —
Rep. Joe Kennedy: “With no medical basis for it. That’s what you’ve just explained to us. Come on, sir.”
HHS Secretary Alex Azar: “No, there’s — he’s expressing that there — he’s expressing that the American people need to take a breath here, that there’s no change to anyone’s daily life from this, that the country has a plan. We have pandemic plans.”
Trump Taps VP Mike Pence, Who’s Blamed for Indiana HIV Outbreak, to Lead Coronavirus Response
Late Wednesday, President Trump held a news conference at the White House, where he said he’s tapped Vice President Mike Pence to coordinate the federal response to the coronavirus. Pence is not a public health expert, and as governor of Indiana he slashed public health spending and is widely blamed for an outbreak of HIV in his home state. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta is warning the true number of U.S. coronavirus cases might be higher than reported because test kits sent out nationwide earlier this month included a faulty component. After headlines, we’ll discuss the growing threat of the coronavirus.