The White House coronavirus response coordinator decided to blame the media for President Trump’s wildly irresponsible and dangerous remarks about using disinfectants and ultraviolet light on coronavirus patients.
“It bothers me that this is still in the news cycle,” Dr. Deborah Birx told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday when the host asked her to comment on Trump’s coronavirus ramblings about injecting people with disinfectants and ultraviolet light.
Tapper first told Birx about the fallout from the president’s comments this week, including that poison control centers across the country received so many calls they had to issue statements warning people not to use disinfectants internally.
The host then asked Birx, “As a doctor, doesn’t that bother you that you have to even spend any time discussing this?”
But Birx chose to focus on the media’s fixation rather than criticize the president, “I worry that we don’t get the information to the American people that they need when we continue to bring up something that was from Thursday night,” the doctor said.
Birx went on to excuse Trump’s comments away, saying they were “musings” and adding, “I think the president made it clear that physicians had to study this.”
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Tapper made it clear to his audience where he thinks the responsibility lies regarding Trump’s remarks by ending the interview saying, “I would say that I think the source of the misinformation is not the news media on this.”
The doctor also spoke to Fox News on Saturday night and was asked by host Jesse Watters, “Do you think the media in this country has been fair throughout this pandemic?”
Birx answered, “I think the media is very slicey and dicey about how they put sentences together in order to create headlines.”
The doctor continued with a critique of the way news articles are contextualized and structured, which was laughable considering the channel on which she was making her argument, not to mention the comically notorious flame-throwing caricature of a news host who was conducting the interview.
Birx’s weekend media appearances were right in line with what Trump would like to see from his surrogates. But the doctor should be above this kind of pandering. She’s in a tough spot and surely does not want to lose her job, but choosing to blame the media instead of deflecting these sorts of questions does no one any good. In fact, it feeds into the blame and don’t trust the media narrative that the president has evoked from day one.
The public’s need to trust the media during a pandemic is of utmost importance, and one of America’s top health officials sowing seeds of distrust is dangerous.
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