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FBN's Bartiromo: Restarting economy should be 'second or third priority' behind beating coronavirus

FBN's Bartiromo: Restarting economy should be 'second or third priority' behind beating coronavirus
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Fox Business Network host Maria BartiromoMaria Sara BartiromoParler goes dark after move by Amazon Perdue says he would support objecting to Electoral College vote Abrams says concession comparisons to Trump are 'apples to bowling balls' MORE said the top priority of the country regarding the coronavirus crisis should be treating and containing the disease that continues to spread throughout the country.

The anchor added that "the second and third priority" should then be getting the $22 trillion U.S. economy going again.

The perspective from the "Mornings with Maria" and "Sunday Morning Futures" host comes after U.S. jobless claims topped an unprecedented 6.6 million in the last week of March, with claims overall over the past two weeks topping 10 million people as a result of the pandemic.

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Overall, the U.S. unemployment rate jumped to 4.4 percent in March from 3.5 percent in February, the largest one-month jump since January 1975.

"I think most people will agree the number one priority is getting our arms around this virus and ensuring that, we’ve got the right treatments in place, the antiviral, and a vaccine at some point," Bartiromo explained in a phone interview with The Hill.

"This is an unprecedented moment, obviously. When would the government ever tell businesses to shut down and tell citizens to stay at home?" she said. 

"So you have to wonder what it’s going to take to bring the economy up again, and I think that is an ongoing discussion that we want to have whether or not the economy can be reopened once again," she continued. "But not until we understand fully how we're going to beat this virus. So that is the priority. But I think that a second and third priority should be certainly be the economy."

Early last month, Bartiromo was criticized by left-leaning outlets, including Salon and Raw Story, for her reporting based on White House sources March 5 that the number of cases in the U.S. would reach into "the hundreds of thousands." Both outlets accused Bartiromo of spreading "disinformation."

 

The current number of U.S. cases is more than 244,000, with the domestic death toll at least 6,200, according to a New York Times tracker.

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"At this point I feel like it’s hard to take some of these outlets seriously," Bartiromo said in response. "I’ve been trashed before for seeking the truth," Bartiromo said.

"I did say this many times on 'Mornings with Maria' and then I think I also said it on Fox News with Bill Hemmer, and at the time even Bill was struck and said, 'Wait a second, tens of hundreds of thousands of cases? We're only at a handful right now, Maria.' And I said, 'Look I don’t want to panic anybody, but you know this is what I’m hearing from sources who would know,'" she continued. 

Salon contends in an Apr. 3 editor’s note that the Mar. 7 Bartiromo story was intended to show a contrast between her and other network hosts.

“As of April 3, there have been more than 240,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S., according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center. Published nearly one month ago, this article contrasted Bartiromo’s remarks with those made by other Fox personalities and guests, which were categorized as “disinformation” for downplaying the pandemic and scapegoating marginalized groups,” it reads.

Bartiromo joined Fox Business and Fox News in 2013 after more than two decades at rival CNBC.