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'Pod Save America' host urges networks not to air Trump coronavirus briefings

'Pod Save America' host urges networks not to air Trump coronavirus briefings
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Jon Favreau, the former Obama speechwriter and "Pod Save America" host, called Tuesday for networks to no longer carry President TrumpDonald John TrumpObama slams Trump in Miami: 'Florida Man wouldn't even do this stuff' Trump makes his case in North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin Pence's chief of staff tests positive for COVID-19 MORE's coronavirus task force daily briefings, saying they represent a "free campaign commercial every day" that put "lives at risk."

"Trump’s daily briefings are carried live by every network, which means that millions of Americans are receiving misinformation about a public health crisis that’s unfiltered and mostly unchallenged," Favreau said Tuesday in an email petition from the Progressive Change Campaign Committee that asked others to join the effort to pressure cable news networks.

"It has to stop. Cover the news. Cover the facts. But there is zero reason to give the President a free campaign commercial every day where he's free to spread lies that put people’s lives at risk," he adds.

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The afternoon briefings, which often run more than 90 minutes, have been averaging 8.5 million viewers — figures Trump has touted. The briefings typically include remarks from Trump and Vice President Pence, along with a rotating cast of other officials from the administration. 

The officials have generally included the administration's health officials, including the government's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony FauciAnthony FauciScience seeks truth, Trump denies it Fauci says US may want to mandate masks amid COVID-19 surges Trump, Biden final arguments at opposite ends on COVID-19 MORE, and the administration's coronavirus task force coordinator, Dr. Deborah Birx, though neither of them have been at every briefing.

The briefings have come under increasing criticism from the left.  

MSNBC host Chris Hayes and CNN's Don LemonDon Carlton LemonSchwarzenegger: California GOP has gone 'off the rails' with unofficial ballot boxes CNN's Lemon, MSNBC's Maddow rail against NBC for Trump town hall: 'Embarrassing ratings ploy' CNN's Lemon: Asking Biden, Harris about 'hypothetical' court packing 'not a legitimate question' MORE have called on the briefings not to be aired despite their respective networks carrying them on a daily basis.

On Monday night, Hayes said while the decision to carry the briefings is "above my pay grade," it is "crazy" and "dangerous" to the public to carry them live. 

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Lemon argued the networks should only supply "snippets" and "pertinent points" to the American public because he feels Trump is "never, ever going to tell you the truth."

Trump has argued that those saying the briefings should not be aired simply want to hurt him politically.

Trump has seen his approval ratings rise over the last few weeks and has received solid ratings on his handling of the pandemic, with 60 percent of those polled by Gallup approving of Trump's performance.