Howard Dean calls for guests to boycott MSNBC over Trump briefings

Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean (D) on Tuesday said he will no longer appear on MSNBC if the network continues to broadcast President Trump’s daily coronavirus press conferences live, calling on other guests to join his boycott.

“I just told MSNBC I wasn’t going on their shows as long as they were broadcasting trump’s press conference,” Dean tweeted. “I won’t make much difference if it’s just me but if 50 of you did it it would make a difference.”

The former Democratic National Committee chairman also urged his more than 151,900 Twitter followers to stop watching.

MSNBC declined to comment.

The White House’s daily briefings on the pandemic have dominated headlines and attracted millions of viewers. However, the briefings have also drawn criticism for Trump’s changing messages on the coronavirus.

The press conferences have also seen the president launch attacks on reporters and tout a potential coronavirus treatment  despite resistance from some of his top health officials.

CNN’s Anderson Cooper accused Trump of “hijacking” Monday’s briefing to try to rewrite the history of the administration’s “reprehensibly irresponsible response to this virus.”

“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,” Cooper said.

The task force includes career health officials such as White House coronavirus response coordinator Deborah Birx and the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Anthony Fauci.

MSNBC and CNN 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.

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) on Monday said the briefings can go “off the rails a little bit” as a reflection of “the way the president conducts business.”

“I think he probably would be better served, and maybe others would, when it’s not used as the press conference for everything else, I think. I think he should … let the health professionals guide where we’re gonna go, Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx.”

Tags Anderson Cooper Anthony Fauci CNN Coronavirus Deborah Birx Donald Trump Fox News Howard Dean Howard Dean MSNBC MSNBC press briefing Shelley Moore Capito Trump administration White House coronavirus task force

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