Media members react to ‘straight talk’ from surgeon general: ‘Quite a prescription’

Members of the media ripped Surgeon General Jerome Adams after he reprimanded journalists for their coverage of the White House response to the coronavirus.

Many journalists suggested Adams was imposing a double standard with his criticism of “partisanship” in the media’s reports of the coronavirus because he did not mention remarks from President Trump that have blamed Democrats for their alleged role in the pandemic’s spread.

“Quite a prescription from the surgeon general. Reporters are reporting after a series of mess ups by the government in their response to the coronavirus,” said New York Times White House reporter Maggie Haberman.

“Um… did the Surgeon General just tell US to take coronavirus seriously (has he met his boss??) and did he just order Americans not to criticize the president?” added MSNBC host Joy Reid.

Several other journalists piled on, suggesting they were getting undeserved flak for reporting on the government’s actions to curb the coronavirus’s spread. 

The rebukes of Adams come after the surgeon general tore into the media in some “straight talk,” accusing it of “finger-pointing” in its coverage of the Trump administration’s response to the outbreak. 

“We really need you all to lean into and prioritize the health and safety of the American people. No more bickering, no more partisanship, no more criticism or finger-pointing. There’ll be plenty of time for that,” Adams said during a White House press conference Saturday. 

Adams appeared to be responding to media reports citing delays in the availability of coronavirus test kits, which critics have said exacerbated the spread of the virus.

Trump and other officials have maintained that the administration reacted swiftly when cases were first confirmed in the U.S., but state officials have said they did not receive an adequate number of test kits to properly contain the pandemic. Trump has also repeatedly said Democrats are hyping up the coronavirus to hinder his reelection effort.

Some journalists responded to Adams’s remarks by saying that not holding the government’s feet to the fire would put the country in danger. 

“Surgeon General admonishes reporters that they should not be holding government officials accountable for their actions. The real danger to the nation’s health is not to,” tweeted The Washington Post’s Karen Tumulty.

Tags Coronavirus Donald Trump Maggie Haberman

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