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Reporter Calls Out Trump for Month Long Gap in Pandemic Response Video and We Now See Why They Left It Blank

MSNBC

During a press briefing on the global pandemic that's killed nearly 25,000 Americans, President Donald Trump prioritized his ego over potentially lifesaving information.

Near the beginning of the official White House briefing, the President played a compilation of clips purporting to show pundits, governors, and reporters praising his response to the virus after initially criticizing it.


In addition to selectively edited clips and remarks robbed of their context, the video's timeline leaps from February 6 to March 3, almost completely skipping February—the month in which Trump assured that the virus would disappear like a "miracle" and said that 15 cases would soon drop to zero.

As every American now knows, that didn't happen.

Watch the misleading video below.

CBS reporter Paula Reid noticed the gap and pressed Trump on it in a heated exchange.

Watch it here.

After Trump boasted his largely ineffective travel restrictions on China near the beginning of the U.S. outbreak, Reid asked:

"What did you do with the time that you bought, with the month of February?...The entire month of February, your video has a complete gap. What did your administration do in February with the time your travel ban bought you?"

Trump gave a vague answer of "a lot," but that wasn't enough for Reid, who pressed him on what his administration specifically did.

Trump responded:

"In fact, we'll give you a list...We did a lot. Look, you know you're a fake. You know that. Your whole network, the way you cover it is fake."

Despite Reid's efforts to keep Trump on the subject, the conversation inevitably devolved into an all-too-routine display of childishness from a 73 year old man.

Trump was somewhat true to his word, however, about providing a list of actions to curb the virus that were taken in February, when he was still claiming the media was overblowing the virus to undermine his presidency.

The Trump campaign tweeted the list later that night.

It was a master class in grasping at straws.

First off, five of the items on the list aren't in February, and other items are largely meaningless, such as "Trump told reporters the CDC is working with China" to fight the virus and "Trump vowed in his State of the Union address to 'take all necessary steps'" to combat it.

The list also boasts that Trump's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began delivering vital testing kits to labs on February 6, but it doesn't mention that these tests were faulty and had to be recalled, greatly slowing testing accessibility at the crucial early stages of the U.S. outbreak.

Bafflingly, it tries to present the World Health Organization's delegation to Wuhan, China as an achievement of the Trump administration. Trump himself has criticized the WHO's response to the virus and even threatened to defund it.

The memo touts that the Trump administration requested $2.5 billion in emergency funding from Congress to fight the virus. This request was panned at the time by Democrats and Republicans alike because the Trump administration was asking for too little. It was accused of "lowballing" the amount of money that would be needed to secure medical equipment and prevent a shortage.

Sure enough, that shortage did occur, and Congress passed a $2.2 trillion stimulus package that dwarfed the paltry $2.5 billion requested by the Trump administration.

People noticed the rampant flaws in the memo.





During the month of February, Trump held no fewer than five campaign rallies and golfed at least twice, all the while dismissing the threat the virus posed.

People were quick to remind him of that.




Don't fall for the Trump campaign's attempt to rewrite the history of its bungled response.