During a Friday press conference, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway snapped at CBS News’ Paula Reid after being questioned on the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus, Raw Story reported.
“You talked about how the administration initially had this contained, but during that time, why didn’t the administration send out more tests and work to get hospitals prepared?” Reid asked, noting that Florida currently doesn’t have the capacity to test everyone.
Conway claimed that the government is increasing testing kit production, but Reid kept on the offensive.
“But why now, why didn’t they do it while it was contained?” she asked.
“It is being contained,” Conway snapped back before asking Reid if she thinks the coronavirus is not being contained.
“The virus is spreading throughout the country,” Reid responded.
As The Inquisitr reported, a recent Atlantic Monthly report claimed that fewer than 1,900 Americans have been tested for the coronavirus, adding to fears surrounding the White House’s response.
As reported by CNN, the White House and president’s statements on the coronavirus have regularly conflicted. The publication notes that such discrepancies happen on a nearly weekly basis, which fuels confusion and has the public wondering who to believe.
“While those dual — and dueling — messages are never a good thing, they are particularly problematic in a situation like dealing with the coronavirus,” the report reads. “What the public needs are facts. One set of facts. From a trusted source.”
Here’s Kellyanne Conway claiming that the coronavirus is being contained.
It is not.
This sort of deliberate misinformation can get people killed. pic.twitter.com/6tknDdTZaL
— Public Citizen (@Public_Citizen) March 6, 2020
In one case, President Donald Trump claimed that a coronavirus vaccine was close. However, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, claimed such a vaccine is at least 12 to 18 months away. In another example, Trump claimed that the spread of the coronavirus — which medical experts called inevitable — was only a possibility.
“It probably will, it possibly will,” he said, adding that the spread could be “very small” or at a “larger level.”
In a more recent example, Trump canceled his planned Friday visit to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which the White House claimed was because he didn’t want to disrupt the agency’s work. But earlier Friday, Trump claimed that the trip was postponed because someone at the CDC contracted coronavirus. In addition, the president suggested the trip may still happen.
Not every country’s messaging appears on track to continue the same purported mistakes as the Trump administration. As reported by The Guardian, Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, Brendan Murphy, recently assured the country’s public that more effective messaging on the virus could be expected.