Rubio knocks coverage of US coronavirus cases as 'grotesque' and 'bad journalism

Rubio knocks coverage of US coronavirus cases as 'grotesque' and 'bad journalism
© Greg Nash

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioOverwhelming majority of publicly traded firms have not returned small-business loans: review GOP faces internal conflicts on fifth coronavirus bill COVID-19 makes Trump's work with black Americans that much harder MORE (R-Fla.) on Sunday criticized media reports that the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. had surpassed the number of cases in China.

Rubio called the coverage “grotesque” and “bad journalism,” and accused China of having more cases than the country is reporting. 

“Some in our media can’t contain their glee & delight in reporting that the U.S. has more #CoronaVirus cases than #China,” Rubio tweeted. 

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“Beyond being grotesque,its bad journalism,” he added. “We have NO IDEA how many cases China really has but without any doubt its significantly more than [what] they admit to.”

The U.S. has more than 125,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, and China, where the virus originated, has more than 82,000 confirmed cases. 

China has more deaths from the coronavirus than the U.S., with 3,304 and 2,201, respectively, according to the university's database.

Journalists fired back at Rubio over his tweet criticizing coverage. 

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“We have colleagues who have died,” MSNBC’s Katy Tur tweeted.

Michael Barbaro, host of The New York Times’ “The Daily” podcast, said there is “zero evidence of this.”

“Zero. Just good old fashioned media bashing for its own sake by a member of the US senate,” Barbaro tweeted.

Vs. Media Podcast host Stephen MillerStephen MillerTrump camp outraged over Jezebel article calling for Stephen Miller to get coronavirus The Hill's 12:30 Report: White House scrambles after Pence aide tests positive for Covid The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by The American Investment Council - Dems plot CARES 2 bill; infected Pence aide forces VP precautions MORE said a “lot of journalists are fainting over this tweet.” 

“Simple way to prove him wrong. Start writing about why China's numbers should be taken with extreme skepticism,” Miller tweeted. “Watch how many will and won't.”

Dr. David Heymann, a professor of epidemiology who serves as a special advisor to the World Health Organization, said on Sunday that China has been sharing its information “freely.”

“Should the Chinese Communist Party have shared more information about this virus and done it sooner?” CBS’s Margaret Brennan asked Heymann on "Face the Nation." 

“The government in China has shared information very freely with the World Health Organization and also with others. There are many published articles from Chinese investigators that have been put out on many different medical journals in front of the paywall so that everybody can understand what's going on,” he responded. “So there's been to date quite a free sharing of information among countries and from countries to others.”