During the Wednesday “press briefing,” Trump called the Post headline fake news and misleading, and then encouraged Dr. Redfield, along with human shoe polish Vice President Mike Pence, to say nobody knows anything. Trump said Redfield was “totally misquoted” by the Post and explained that Redfield was really just promoting the importance of Americans getting the flu shot this coming fall.
Trump went on to ramble that Dr. Redfield did say “it’s possible, if the corona even comes back—and he doesn’t know that it’s going to and neither do I.” Then Dr. Redfield, who was at the briefing, explained himself by saying that yes, he believes if we have two viruses, the seasonal flu on top of the novel coronavirus, things will be “more difficult.”
The Trump administration then focused on the word “worse,” as the adjective was used by numerous news outlets to describe the CDC director’s statements to the Post.
DR. REDFIELD: So the comment that I made: It’s more difficult. It doesn’t mean it’s going to be more impossible. It doesn’t mean it’s going to be more, as some people have said, ‘worse.’ It just means it’s going to be difficult because we have to distinguish between the two.
And then this exchange happened between the president of the United States and a reporter, with the vice president of the United States chiming in like a true heel:
DR. REDFIELD: I’m accurately quoted in the Washington Post as “difficult.” But the headline was inappropriate.
TRUMP: What does the headline say? What does the headline say? Go ahead, read the headline.
REPORTER: The headline says, “CDC Director Warns Second Wave of Coronavirus is Likely to be Even More Devastating.” And isn’t that correct? Because—
TRUMP:—That’s not what he says.
PENCE: It’s not what he said.
TRUMP: It’s not what he said.
REPORTER: But if you have the two things happening—
TRUMP:—The headline doesn’t correspond to the story.
DR. REDFIELD: No. I actually think it’s actually going to be — I think the American public is going to heed the request to relook at their vaccine hesitancy, to vaccine with confidence for flu. And I’m confident that the public health infrastructure that we’re putting together now across this country so that we can early-case diagnose, isolate, and contact trace — as I say, block and tackle, block and tackle — that system is going to be there, and we’re going to be able to contain this virus.
REPORTER: Why did you retweet the article if it was inaccurate? Doctor, why did you retweet it?
TRUMP: You weren’t called.
People voted for this guy and still think he’s doing a competent job.