Trump accuses CBS, ’60 Minutes’ of ‘doing everything within their power’ to defend China

President Trump lashed out at CBS News on Sunday, accusing the network’s flagship “60 Minutes” news program of using its platform to “defend China” amid the coronavirus outbreak.

In a tweet, the president wrote that China “inflicted” the coronavirus pandemic “on the USA and the rest of the World” while not referring to a specific story on the show.

“.@CBS and their show, @60Minutes, are doing everything within their power, which is far less today than it was in the past, to defend China and the horrible Virus pandemic that was inflicted on the USA and the rest of the World. I guess they want to do business in China!” he tweeted.

His tweet came shortly after the network aired a story featuring virologist Peter Daszak, who told CBS News that he warned as early as 2003 that a global virus-borne pandemic was possible and saw his funding at the National Institutes of Health cut just two weeks ago.

The CBS News report blamed a “political disinformation campaign” targeting a laboratory in Wuhan, China, which conservatives have suggested without evidence could have been responsible for the coronavirus pandemic. Some, including reporters and even Trump himself in press briefings, erroneously suggested that a $3.7 grant to Daszak’s research was instead bound for the Wuhan laboratory, CBS reported. Daszak’s research involved a partnership with the lab in question, but only about $100,000 of the grant was used for that purpose, according to CBS.

CBS News did not immediately return a request for comment on the president’s tweet.

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