“The President of the United States is a deeply dishonest person,” this was the declaration uttered by CNN White House Correspondent John Harwood during Monday’s New Day. There was no evidence given, only a public opinion poll. This did not stop the partisan morning show from spending considerable time trashing the administration with such ad hominem attacks.
The copious number of White House statements keeping Americans informed about the President’s condition provided over the weekend were flagrantly ignored during the broadcast. Just Monday morning alone there have been statements from the medical doctors, the White House Chief of Staff, and the President himself. Trump has also released several messages over the weekend showing him up and directly talking to the American people.
However, that information was not enough for the leftist network, which spent time dangerously speculating and calling into question the President’s honesty about the illness. Harwood even ranted: “… this has been an episode that encapsulates the dishonesty, the incompetence, the irresponsibility that characterizes the administration’s approach to coronavirus from day one.”
Co-host John Berman eagerly joined in the hostility: “… it really doesn’t tell us anything about his medical condition, because what we do know, the one thing we now know for certain is that politics is superseding medicine here.” None of the statements of this kind were backed up with evidence.
The network took the irresponsible rhetoric a step further, making wild claims about the President’s health. Dr. Jonathan Reiner, who regularly appears on CNN to attack the President, opinionated that given the drugs administered to the President, he must be much sicker than the statements and the videos are showing.
CNN political analyst Margaret Talev mused about “physical after-effects and cognitive after-effects. …. that impact the President’s ability to both campaign, but also to govern in weeks or months ahead.” She failed to provide any medical expert who had similar warnings, including the one on screen with her.
It is not hard to see how CNN’s accusations perfectly mimic talking points coming from the Biden campaign. the Democratic nominee has regularly called into question the President’s honesty. Last month, he openly said that the American people could trust scientists, but not Trump. Just last week, at the first presidential debate, he blatantly said of the President “Everyone knows he’s a liar.”
6:05 a.m. Eastern
JONATHAN REINER [CNN Medical Analyst]: Good morning, Alisyn. It can be administered at the White House. I’m not sure why you would administer it at the White House. The President is likely still infectious, although we don’t know that. His team has not disclosed whether they’ve rechecked whether he remains positive. So if you think about the environment in which he is staying now, it’s a very sophisticated, large suite that occupies almost an entire floor at Walter Reed. Very self-contained with all of the communications and security equipment that the President of the United States would require. So he’s in a very safe, monitored environment. Why would you move him from that right now? Particularly if he remains infectious. You’re going to bring him to the White House and isolate him in the relatively small residence upstairs, leave him there at Walter Reed for now. He can work from Walter Reed. And be monitored and receive the drugs. It makes no sense to move him to the White House, until he’s truly recovered and no longer requires isolation. So I have no expectation that they’re going to move him today.
JOHN BERMAN: We don’t know. And if they do, it really doesn’t tell us anything about his medical condition, because what we do know, the one thing we now know for certain is that politics is superseding medicine here. There’s just no question about it, it at this point. When Dr. Conley lies on Saturday and then gleefully admits to lying on Sunday, you know that politics has taken precedent, John Harwood. And when the President gets in an SUV with secret service agents, I don’t care if they’re wearing masks. I don’t care if they are in scuba gear, but when by a guy who is by all accounts still infectious, it’s clear that politics is more important than medicine.
JOHN HARWOOD [CNN White House Correspondent]: John, this has been an episode that encapsulates the dishonesty, the incompetence, the irresponsibility that characterizes the administration’s approach to coronavirus from day one. It is shocking that Dr. Conley made a fool of himself repeatedly over the weekend, giving misleading, evasive, comically evasive answers. Everyone could see that he was evading answers and explaining them by saying he didn’t want to influence the course of illness. You have these ridiculous statements from Jason Miller, the campaign strategist, who went on to criticize Joe Biden for using a mask as a prop while his candidate is sick in the hospital with coronavirus. And then the candidate himself putting in danger his secret service detail by going out for no reason at all, other than to wave through the car window at supporters who were out, you know, honking their horns and waving flags there for him. It is just unreal that this is the President of the United States, this is the White House team, this is the Trump campaign behaving in this way. But it helps explain why the administration response has been so bad. Why we are 4% of the world’s population and have 20% of the world’s deaths and cases. It is all right there in front of us right now.
6:18 a.m. Eastern
JOHN BERMAN: So the White House released a Twitter video of the President speaking to the camera last night and he looked better. He looked better on Sunday than he did on Saturday. But honestly, that’s all we have to go on. Because as I keep saying, the President’s doctor, the White House doctor admitted to lying to the American people. Why do I keep saying this? What you’re about to see is this doctor, Sean Conley, first on Saturday, telling us that the President did not receive oxygen on Friday. He said, no, he did not receive oxygen Friday or Saturday and then Sunday, he cleaned it up and said, oh, yeah, he did. Listen to this.
SEAN CONLEY: Yesterday and today, he was not on oxygen. … The only oxygen that I ordered or that we provided was that Friday morning, initially.
BERMAN: So he said yesterday and today, he was not on oxygen. Then he said, the only oxygen we gave him was Friday. That was yesterday in that formulation. That’s not a rosy picture. That’s not trying to put things in a good light. That is a lie.
ALISYN CAMEROTA: I think he also got oxygen on Saturday.
BERMAN: We don’t know. He said he didn’t know. The Saturday thing, his oxygen level was dropped. And he was asked, did he get oxygen, and he said, I don’t know, you’ll have to ask the nurses. Because apparently the White House doctor doesn’t know if the President got oxygen on Saturday.
CAMEROTA: Well, we are in good hands.
BERMAN: Back with us, Dr. Jonathan Reiner, John Harwood and Margret Talev. So, Dr. Reiner the reason I wanted to establish that is this at this point, really, we just can’t trust, we can’t trust what the doctors are telling us, but we have to try to piece together the President’s condition based on, you know, what they may be telling us the truth on. One of them, after first, you know, refusing to tell us whether he was on steroids on Friday, yesterday they finally admitted they gave him dexamethasone. What does that tell us in and of itself? It has been shown to be very helpful for certain patients, but the W.H.O and NIH also say, it should only be given to patients with severe breathing problems because of potential side effects.
JONATHAN REINER [CNN Medical Analyst]: Right. Let me just say something quickly about Sean and the briefings. He’s broken the cardinal rule of being a physician and briefing the public on a public official, which is, you must tell the truth and the entire truth. Physicians are truth tellers. And once you breach that, you have no credibility. And now you’re seeing the outcome of that. As for the dexamethasone, the recovery trial, which was a large UK-based trial, look at sick hospitalized patients with covid-19. And patients who were either receiving supplemental oxygen or who were intubated did derive a benefit in terms of a reduction in mortality when they received dexamethasone for up to ten days. But I want you to know, these are sick patients. And even the best arm in the recovery trial, the dexamethasone arm, the mortality out of 28 days was 23%. So if the President was truly sick enough to receive dexamethasone, and that’s what it suggests, then it really shows you the magnitude of his risk. And Dr. Conley also sort of slipped a little bit and disclosed that it sounds like the President has either x-ray or ct evidence of pneumonia. Which is almost certainly why they added the dexamethasone to his regimen.
JOHN BERMAN: There’s also a serious political reason why I think they’re not telling us when his last negative test was. And I think if it painted things in a good light, they would tell us. I think we have to assume that’s why they’re not telling us. There was this event at the White House last Saturday for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, where so many people have now become infected. Was the President tested after that? Did he receive a negative test on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday? I don’t know, because they won’t tell us, if the answer is, no, he wasn’t tested, that means the President with no testing after that event, John Harwood, did debate prep. Chris Christie is now in the hospital. He went to the debate, stood on stage with Joe Biden who is now being tested every day. He went to Minnesota on air force one. Michael Scherer who we’re going to have on the show went on that trip. He has now tested positive. That was on Saturday that he flew. And also on to New Jersey. So it’s possible that the President wasn’t tested at all and that the White House has been lying about testing, including lying to the debate commission.
JOHN HARWOOD [CNN White House Correspondent]: Exactly. And, you know, the big event on Saturday, the colossal event on Tuesday night, when he was on stage with Joe Biden. The other man who could become President after this election. Think about the wreckage that Donald Trump has left in his wake. So many people close to him now having been diagnosed positive after close interactions with a President who recklessly has defied public health guidance. And you know, John, you were talking about, with Dr. Reiner, about Sean Conley and how dishonest Sean Conley has been. Let’s don’t forget, this flows from the top. The President of the united States is a deeply dishonest person. In fact, the American people have known this throughout his Presidency. Pollsters have asked from the beginning of the Trump administration, do you think the President is honest or not. A majority of Americans have said that he is dishonest from the beginning. But those numbers have gone up this summer. You had a finding from Quinnipiac. 66% of the American people said they thought the President’s dishonest. And “The Washington Post”/abc poll, 64% of the American people say they don’t believe what the President says about coronavirus. This is now playing out in real time with staggering consequences for him personally and for the people closest to him.
CAMEROTA: Margaret, what should we be focused on today? What are you looking at?
MARGARET TALEV [CNN Political Analyst]: Well, the big question that everybody will be watching today, of course, is whether or not they decide, in fact, to release the President and to return him to the White House. What that looks like in terms of his care and what kind of messaging we will see follow. I think there is also a real fallout in the White House in terms of what to watch. And we’re watching to see which other Senators or people who have come in contact with any of the people who were in contact with the people there in the rose garden or anywhere down this chain of command, how many additional positive diagnoses that we see. And there is one other issue that Dr. Reiner can probably talk to better than I can, but this also goes to that timeline question, and understanding the President’s real path to recovery. And that is that we don’t know yet what his recovery will be like. Will he bounce back quickly? Will he fall into this category of long haulers, who we have heard about, Chris Cuomo, your Chris Cuomo on CNN talks about this a lot. The after-effects, there can be physical after-effects and cognitive after-effects that can last “X” period of time. How will that impact the President’s ability to both campaign, but also to govern in weeks or months ahead.
CAMEROTA: Such important questions. Margaret, John, Dr. Reiner, thank you all very much.
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