White House hits CNN, MSNBC for cutting away from coronavirus briefing

The White House hit CNN and MSNBC for cutting away from Monday evening's coronavirus briefing from President TrumpDonald John TrumpMilitary personnel to handle coronavirus patients at facilities in NYC, New Orleans and Dallas Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort has total of 20 patients: report Fauci says that all states should have stay-at-home orders MORE and his administration. 

White House spokesman Judd Deere called it “pretty disgraceful” that the networks, which have been regularly criticized by the president, did not show the entire White House briefing on the pandemic sweeping the country.

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Fox News also cut away from the Monday briefing but only just before it ended.

A CNN spokesperson responded to Deere’s tweet in a statement: “If the White House wants to ask for time on the network, they should make an official request. Otherwise we will make our own editorial decisions.”

An MSNBC network spokesperson said the network aired the briefing for more than an hour before cutting away "because the information no longer appeared to be valuable to the important ongoing discussion around public health."

Several people have criticized the administration’s daily coronavirus briefings for allegedly spreading misinformation and urged news networks not to show them live.

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Last week, Trump got into a spat with NBC News reporter Peter Alexander when he asked what the president's message is to Americans who are “scared” about the coronavirus.

“I say that you’re a terrible reporter,” Trump replied. “That’s what I say. I think it’s a very nasty question, and I think it’s a very bad signal that you’re putting out to the American people.”

In Monday’s briefing, Trump indicated that he wants to work with local economies to “cautiously resume” activities after the pandemic has shut down industries. 

COVID-19 has infected more than 43,000 people in the U.S., leading to at least 552 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.