News In 5 Minutes

News When You Want It

Go Figure: CNN Obsesses Over Few Masks, No Distancing at Barrett Announcement



CNN had a horrid Saturday. First, President Trump nominated a strong, conservative, faith-based jurist in Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. Then, they couldn’t figure out how to react to the pick. If that wasn’t enough, one CNN liveshot was derailed by a fact-based group of Trump supporters calling the network fake news. Therefore, it wasn’t entirely surprising one massive narrative they touted was the lack of masks and social distancing at the White House.

While it’s admirable to stress masking-wearing and social distancing, CNN and the left writ large lost the chance to credibly lecture anyone on public health after having shown little to no issue with packed, should-to-shoulder Black Lives Matter marches and protests.

 

 

Less than ten minutes after the Rose Garden event wrapped, Situation Room host Wolf Blitzer pivoted to the upcoming Trump rally in Middletown, Pennsylvania (right outside Harrisburg) and how there was “not much social distancing, not much masks at least as far as we can see” just as there didn’t seem to be “many masks or a lot of social distancing in the Rose Garden.”

CNN’s weekend Jim Acosta/White House correspondent Jeremy Diamond relayed these concerns and took some cheap shots at Dr. Scott Atlas:

[W]e certainly did not, Wolf. And it was really a who’s who of the President’s conservative supporters. We saw several of them actually enter with the mask, but as soon as they were among the crowd, they took them off. And we even saw Dr. Scott Atlas, the President’s coronavirus adviser who, of course, is not an expert in immunology or infectious diseases, but has become — certainly has the President’s ear on these matters, he was also milling about without a mask.

Fast-forward to the 6:00 p.m. Eastern hour and it became a dominant theme. Blitzer bemoaned while resetting CNN’s coverage that while “[i]t was a very moving, powerful ceremony in the Rose Garden” with “lots of people there, and once again, very few of them wearing masks, and they were crowded together.”

Moments later, Blitzer and Diamond were at it again, taking aim at both Atlas and HHS Secretary Alex Azar (click “expand”):

BLITZER: And I’m personally curious about this, Jeremy. You were there in the Rose Garden. We saw a nice crowd, people sitting in the Rose Garden very close together. Very few of them wearing masks. Alex Azar, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, I saw he did put on his mask. Others did not. Were — were everyone in the Rose Garden, were they tested for coronavirus before they were allowed in because they all got pretty close to each other and several of them got pretty close to the President. 

DIAMOND: Yeah, this is protocol that the White House has been following for — for — for several weeks now, which is that only a certain number of people who are attending this event are actually tested for the coronavirus…[M]ost of the people in the audience today were not tested and many of them arrived with masks on. Some of them took their masks off as — as they actually took their seats and began mingling with others. And I think, Wolf, the most notable exception to this mask-wearing was Dr. Scott Atlas, the President’s coronavirus adviser. He’s, of course, not an immunologist, not an expert on infectious diseases or epidemiology, but he is — he does have the president’s ear, and he is advising him in ways that contradict what most public health experts say about the coronavirus and that was, frankly, evident in the fact that you saw Dr. Atlas not wearing a mask, interacting with other people in the crowd who are presumably not tested for coronavirus, Wolf. It’s really remarkable. We need to remind people. We are still in the middle of this pandemic. 

BLITZER: We certainly are. Almost 1,000 people — 1,000 Americans died yesterday from the virus here in the United States. And Alex Azar, I did — when he was sitting there, I saw him put on the mask. But as we showed our viewers, when he was leaving, he clearly took off that mask. Almost everyone else was walking around, fist bumping and all that kind of stuff without masks. Stand by. There you see him near the top of your screen. He’s smiling as he walked away. He clearly took off his mask after wearing it while he was seated.

The topic couldn’t even escape a non-Barrett segment as, after an interview with Pennsylvania AG Josh Shapiro (D) on ballots, Blitzer fretted that the Trump PA rally wasn’t going to have “much social distancing, attorney general, and certainly not many folks are wearing masks.”

Showing CNN’s shameless partisanship and use of covert liberal activists as seemingly nonpartisan medical experts, Blitzer brought in progressive Dr. Megan Ranney to not only scare viewers that they’ll lose their health care under Barrett, but trash Azar. 

Blitzer put on-screen the HHS background behind Azar during a CNBC interview that read “beat the virus, wear a mask” juxtaposed with him not wearing a mask when leaving the Barrett event.

“It’s hard to understand what he was encouraging mask use, saying it’s so, so important just a couple of days ago and then we see him in the Rose Garden, not wearing this mask and we know that wearing a mask will save thousands and thousands of lives,” Blitzer added.

Ranney took the ball Blitzer placed on the tee and smashed it over the stands, lambasting Azar for having sent “the wrong message.” For Blitzer’s part, he added that Azar’s behavior was “dangerous” (click “expand”):

RANNEY: We have study after study that shows, like you said, 80 to 90 percent of the cases could be prevented if everyone was universally masked. It’s what my kids are doing at their school and so, for one of the leaders of our country, of our Health and Human Services, to be walking around without a mask just sends the wrong message. Now, to be at the Rose Garden, presumably everyone who’s been there who’s close the President, has theoretically been tested. So, you could argue maybe it isn’t necessary in that circumstance, but it sends a message to everyone who’s watching. It’s essential for all of us who hold positions of influence in health care, or in government, or just in — in media to wear masks when we’re out in public, to send that right message because that’s the only way that we are — right now that we are going to combat and succeed against this virus. 

BLITZER: Yeah. There’s all these studies that have shown if people — if 95 percent of the American public wore masks when they’re in public, outside, no social distancing, or inside, it’s even more dangerous when you’re around a whole bunch of people, thousands — tens of thousands of lives in the next few months could be saved here in the United States.

CNN’s fixation on rules they won’t strictly enforce for left-wing gatherings was brought to you by advertisers such as Ancestry, Grubhub, MRHFM, and Sandals. Follow the link to the MRC’s Conservatives Fight Back page.

To see the relevant CNN transcript from August 26, click “expand.”

CNN’s The Situation Room
September 26, 2020
5:31 p.m. Eastern

WOLF BLITZER: And we’re showing our viewers — we were showing our viewers — let’s show those viewers some live pictures coming in from Middletown, Pennsylvania. The President is going to be heading there in a little while to do another pep rally. You see a huge crowd already gathered over there. Once again, not much social distancing, not much masks at least as far as we can see over. Jeremy Diamond, you are still in the Rose Garden for us. We didn’t see many masks or a lot of social distancing in the Rose Garden where you are either, didn’t you?

JEREMY DIAMOND: No, we certainly did not, Wolf. And it was really a who’s who of the President’s conservative supporters. We saw several of them actually enter with the mask, but as soon as they were among the crowd, they took them off. And we even saw Dr. Scott Atlas, the President’s coronavirus adviser who, of course, is not an expert in immunology or infectious diseases, but has become — certainly has the President’s ear on these matters, he was also milling about without a mask.

(….)

6:02 p.m. Eastern

BLITZER: But Jeremy Diamond, you’re there at the White House first. I want to set the scene for us. What happened for viewers tuning in right now? It was a very moving, powerful ceremony in the Rose Garden. Lots of people there, and once again, very few of them wearing masks, and they were crowded together. 

(….)

6:04 p.m. Eastern

BLITZER: And I’m personally curious about this, Jeremy. You were there in the Rose Garden. We saw a nice crowd, people sitting in the Rose Garden very close together. Very few of them wearing masks. Alex Azar, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, I saw he did put on his mask. Others did not. Were — were everyone in the Rose Garden, were they tested for coronavirus before they were allowed in because they all got pretty close to each other and several of them got pretty close to the President. 

DIAMOND: Yeah, this is protocol that the white house has been following for — for — for several weeks now, which is that only a certain number of people who are attending this event are actually testing for the coronavirus and that is the people who are going to be closest to the President. Of course, we know that the President’s senior aides who interact with him on a daily basis, frankly anyone who interacts directly with the President is tested, but most of the people in the audience today were not tested and many of them arrived with masks on. Some of them took their masks off as — as they actually took their seats and began mingling with others. And I think, Wolf, the most notable exception to this mask-wearing was Dr. Scott Atlas, the President’s coronavirus adviser. He’s, of course, not an immunologist, not an expert on infectious diseases or epidemiology, but he is — he does have the president’s ear, and he is advising him in ways that contradict what most public health experts say about the coronavirus and that was, frankly, evident in the fact that you saw Dr. Atlas not wearing a mask, interacting with other people in the crowd who are presumably not tested for coronavirus, Wolf. It’s really remarkable. We need to remind people. We are still in the middle of this pandemic. 

BLITZER: We certainly are. Almost 1,000 people — 1,000 Americans died yesterday from the virus here in the United States. And Alex Azar, I did — when he was sitting there, I saw him put on the mask. But as we showed our viewers, when he was leaving, he clearly took off that mask. Almost everyone else was walking around, fist bumping and all that kind of stuff without masks. Stand by. There you see him near the top of your screen. He’s smiling as he walked away. He clearly took off his mask after wearing it while he was seated.

(….)

6:26 p.m. Eastern

BLITZER: The President now heading to Middletown Pennsylvania for another political rally. We’ve got some live pictures we may want to show our viewers. A big crowd has already gathered there. There you can see not much social distancing, attorney general, and certainly not many folks are wearing masks, at least we can see from this shot. So, the President getting ready for that political rally after his Supreme Court nominee was announced in the Rose Garden over at the White House.

(….)

6:42 p.m. Eastern

BLITZER: I want to show this image I took. This is the Health and Human Services Secretary, Dr. Alex Azar, just a few days ago. He was on CNBC and you see behind him on the HHS screen there’s the words, “beat the virus, wear a mask.” Now, this is him today in the Rose Garden. He put on a mask briefly, but then he was walking around. You see him in the middle of your screen there, no mask, shaking, fist bumping. It was very close quarters. It’s hard to understand what he was encouraging mask use, saying it’s so, so important just a couple of days ago and then we see him in the Rose Garden, not wearing this mask and we know that wearing a mask will save thousands and thousands of lives. What goes through your mind as an emergency room physician? 

DR. MEGAN RANNEY: As an emergency physician, listen, Wolf, I worked today in the ER. I saw dozens of patients, many who I was concerned may have had COVID. I put masks on every patient when they walk in the door of my emergency department and I wear a mask for the entire time that I’m there, both to protect me and protect my patients. We have study after study that shows, like you said, 80 to 90 percent of the cases could be prevented if everyone was universally masked. It’s what my kids are doing at their school and so, for one of the leaders of our country, of our Health and Human Services, to be walking around without a mask just sends the wrong message. Now, to be at the Rose Garden, presumably everyone who’s been there who’s close the President, has theoretically been tested. So, you could argue maybe it isn’t necessary in that circumstance, but it sends a message to everyone who’s watching. It’s essential for all of us who hold positions of influence in health care, or in government, or just in — in media to wear masks when we’re out in public, to send that right message because that’s the only way that we are — right now that we are going to combat and succeed against this virus. 

BLITZER: Yeah. There’s all these studies that have shown if people — if 95 percent of the American public wore masks when they’re in public, outside, no social distancing, or inside, it’s even more dangerous when you’re around a whole bunch of people, thousands — tens of thousands of lives in the next few months could be saved here in the United States.



Source link