CNN’s Anderson Cooper accuses Trump of ‘hijacking’ task force briefing to rewrite history

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CNN’s Anderson Cooper is accusing President Trump of “hijacking” the White House coronavirus task force press briefing on Monday, saying the president is trying to rewrite the history of “reprehensibly irresponsible” early response to the disease.

“If you tuned into it hoping you were going to hear from the country’s top scientists, you were likely disappointed,” Cooper said late Monday on “AC360.”

“What you mostly heard was the president. And what you saw was a hijacking. A hijacking of the task force press conference by a president determined to rewrite the history of his early and reprehensibly irresponsible response to this virus,” Cooper continued. “What the president showed us today is what the nation’s top scientists have to deal with every day — a president who now uses these briefings as a reelection platform, an opportunity to lie, to deflect, to attack, to bully, and cover up his own deadly dismissals of the virus for crucial weeks.”

Trump earlier in the day briefed reporters at the White House before taking multiple questions. He berated some journalists over their questions and claimed that an inspector general report finding “severe” shortages of supplies at hospitals to fight the novel coronavirus was “just wrong.” 

Other White House coronavirus task force members, including Deborah Birx and Anthony Fauci, answered reporters’ questions later in the briefing.

CNN and MSNBC did not carry the Birx or Fauci portions live after Trump left the podium and exited the briefing room. Fox News carried the proceedings from start to finish.

Both doctors expressed optimism that the number of Americans who will die as a result of coronavirus could be lower than the 100,000 to 200,000 predicted last week.

“I think Dr. Fauci and I both strongly believe that if we work as hard as we can over the next several weeks, that we will see potential to go under the numbers that were predicted by the models,” Birx said.

“I don’t accept that we have to have 100,000 to 200,000 deaths. I think we can really bring that down,” Fauci added.

“If we do what I’ve been talking about over the past few minutes, we can make that number go down,” he added, referring to aggressive mitigation efforts.

According to the RealClearPolitics index of polls updated Tuesday, 48.3 percent of Americans approve of Trump’s handling of the pandemic, while 47 percent disapprove.

Tags Anderson Cooper Anthony Fauci CNN Coronavirus Donald Trump

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