In The Know

Actor Sean Penn calls WH coronavirus testing czar a ‘flat-out liar and incompetent pawn’

Actor Sean Penn blasted the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic in a new interview, calling coronavirus testing czar Adm. Brett Giroir a “flat-out liar and an incompetent pawn.”

Penn is the founder of the organization Community Organized Relief Effort, or CORE, which has partnered with community groups and local governments to administer over a million COVID-19 tests, according to its website.

CNN host Ana Cabrera told the actor that Giroir told the outlet last week that the Trump administration is doing “everything that we can do” to increase testing capacity in the U.S. 

“As someone who’s on the ground day in and day out, what advice would you give about improvements that need to be made?” Cabrera asked.

“I don’t have faith in giving advice to the White House testing czar or to the President of the United States. The former is a flat-out liar and an incompetent pawn,” Penn responded.

“I’m telling you this not as a Democrat or a lefty. I’m telling you this as somebody who sees it every day,” Penn continued.  

The actor called for testing, notification and a contact tracing period to occur in five days for individuals who test positive for COVID-19, adding that “This country can be testing all of its citizens twice a week.” 

Penn said individuals should have an emergency plan in place if they test positive for COVID-19 to immediately be isolated, the way a family might have an emergency plan in the case of an earthquake.

“So this is really not a complicated thing, but it’s going to happen on local levels not because it should, not because that is what will be successful, but at least until an inauguration of a new leadership, that’s what I believe. We are going to be chasing this dragon. That’s the reality,” Penn said.

Giroir last week said the administration wants to increase testing across the country, but said “there is no physical way to do 5 million tests per day in this country.” 

“If there’s a way to turn it from 1 million to 5 million today, let me know,” Giroir told CNN’s Pamela Brown. 

Tags Brett Giroir Coronavirus Coronavirus testing COVID-19 Sean Penn
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