Guthrie to Gates: ‘Blame’ Trump for Pandemic? Looking Forward to Biden?

Even as NBC’s Today show on Thursday marveled over the speed in which successful COVID-19 vaccines were developed – something made possible by the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed – co-host Savannah Guthrie asked billionaire Bill Gates if President Trump was to “blame” for the severity of the pandemic and if the Microsoft founder was looking forward to a Biden administration.

“Do you have faith in our government’s ability to immunize Americans on this scale?,” Guthrie wondered to Gates, during an exclusive interview with him about the Gates Foundation’s efforts to help fund vaccine research. He sourly predicted the distribution of the vaccine would be mishandled: “And it’s kind of weird that the CDC, throughout this epidemic, hasn’t had the visible role that you would have expected. A lot of these things delegated to the states, the execution will not be what it should be.”      

Gates went on to attack the Trump administration: “It’s just the federal government has abdicated on many things during this pandemic.” Guthrie eagerly seized on the criticism: “You’re not one for politics, but that’s a pretty serious indictment. The federal government has abdicated on some of its fundamental responsibilities in a public health crisis.”

She then asked: “Would you have expected the U.S. to have done better in a pandemic?” Gates replied: “Oh, dramatically.” Guthrie followed up: “Do you blame the President for that?” He argued: “I think the administration overall, as we do the postmortem, there’ll be a lot of things like confused messaging, lack of leadership, that will fall on the executive branch.”

It’s important to remember that back in April, Gates told CNN host Fareed Zakaria that it was a “distraction” to accurately blame the communist government of China for causing the coronavirus pandemic in the first place.

Moments later in Thursday’s exchange, Guthrie suggested Gates must be looking forward to Trump leaving office: “Do you feel hopeful that there’s a new administration? Do you feel like you’ll have a better partner there to work with in terms of the immunization and the efforts that are needed going forward?” Gates confirmed: “Yeah, I think there’ll be less denial. I think we will have a more consistent message…”

Leftist media figures like Guthrie and influential elites like Gates are not even trying to hide their disdain for Trump, despite his administration’s unprecedented mobilization being central to a COVID vaccine being created in record time.

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Here is a transcript of the December 3 exchange:

7:36 AM ET

(…)

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Do you have faith in our government’s ability to immunize Americans on this scale?

BILL GATES: Well, it’s going to be tricky. And it’s kind of weird that the CDC, throughout this epidemic, hasn’t had the visible role that you would have expected. A lot of these things delegated to the states, the execution will not be what it should be. But overall, I do think we’ll get it out. It’s just the federal government has abdicated on many things during this pandemic.

GUTHRIE: You’re not one for politics, but that’s a pretty serious indictment. The federal government has abdicated on some of its fundamental responsibilities in a public health crisis.

GATES: Yeah, the federal government has way more resources than the states. Punching it to the states means it won’t be perfect, but it’ll get done.

GUTHRIE: Would you have expected the U.S. to have done better in a pandemic?

GATES: Oh, dramatically.

GUTHRIE: Do you blame the President for that?

GATES: I think the administration overall, as we do the postmortem, there’ll be a lot of things like confused messaging, lack of leadership, that will fall on the executive branch. And we’ll hope that the next time we do a lot better.

(…)

7:38 AM ET

GUTHRIE: Do you feel hopeful that there’s a new administration? Do you feel like you’ll have a better partner there to work with in terms of the immunization and the efforts that are needed going forward?

GATES: Yeah, I think there’ll be less denial. I think we will have a more consistent message that, “Hey, we’re here to – even if the news is bad – we’re going to be frank with you about what’s going on.”

(…)

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