An NBC News reporter apparently wants President Trump to be far less optimistic about a medical breakthrough in the fight against the coronavirus.
Trump lashed out at NBC News’ Peter Alexander at a press conference Friday, calling him a “terrible reporter” after the correspondent tried to stump the president about having too rosy a view about medications in the pipeline.
Alexander was apparently worried that Trump can’t help himself but give a “positive spin” on these kinds of stories. He said viewers watching NBC might get a “false sense of hope.”
Trump called it a “lovely question.”
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“What do you say to Americans who are watching you right now who are scared?” Alexander said. He pointed out the grim statistics: 200 dead, 14,000 infected. Alexander cited Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infection Diseases, who said there is no “magic drug.”
Trump accused Alexander of reaching for sensationalism and said he should be ashamed of himself. A CNN reporter asked Trump if it was appropriate to go off Alexander while the country fights the virus.
Trump said it is much harder to bring the country together when reporters appear intent on trying to play gotcha with him and his administration.
Weijia Jiang, a CBS News White House correspondent, took to Twitter last week to announce that an administration official referred to the coronavirus as the “Kung Flu.”
Kellyanne Conway, the adviser to President Trump, engaged in a tense exchange with reporters Wednesday and asked that the reporter identify the official.
Conway told the reporters that she took the allegation seriously, but she said it is unfair that the reporter posted the comment without naming the individual whom she’s accusing.
“Tell us who it was,” Conway said, backing away from the microphone. “Weijia, come up here and tell us who it was.”
Conway said the media’s attempt to focus on these types of stories do little to help the American public in dealing with the outbreak.