March 21, 2020

Pettypiece appeared on MSNBC today to discuss the huge disconnect between Trump’s COVID-19 claims and reality. She provided a list of Trump falsehoods that would be damning under any circumstances, but which should ignite calls for resignation during a public health and economic crisis:

PETTYPIECE: This has been a recurring theme, the idea that the president overselling what he is doing. We saw him tweeting today about a drug that he says one of the biggest game changers potentially, an experimental treatment. He has talked about a ship that is going to be off the coast of New York, that is currently weeks away from being ready to be there. He has talked about a website – we all remember this big website rollout that was going to be available soon and gave the impression to people who, across the country, could go to this website and find a testing location. Well, that site is available now but is available for only two counties in California.

And while the president has had a history and a track record throughout his administration of over-hyping his accomplishments, of over-accelerating timelines beyond – you know, promising everything’s coming in weeks and then nothing ever comes to fruition, we're now talking about a public health crisis, where this is actually giving people false hope or a false sense of security to some extent. If people actually think there is a treatment out there, they're going to be going to their doctors and asking for that when in fact this is something that is still in early-stage testing and is still in the experimental phase. So that's a risk here and that's a criticism that the president has been getting from Democrats and from public health experts as well.

But wait, there’s more.

Anchor Alex Witt pointed out that both Dr. Anthony Fauci and even Mike Pence have been “softly” countering Trump’s misinformation. But Pettypiece didn’t want to come right out and state the obvious: Emperor Trump has no clothes.

PETTYPIECE: Well, it just creates, one, confusion among the public, which is scared, and experiencing something like none of us have experienced in our lifetime. So it creates this confusion about who to believe, but it’s also the president risking his credibility here, when he has to be, then, countered by the top infectious disease doctor in the country, and even his own vice president, it’s putting his credibility at risk.

Pettypiece went on to note that while the White House is delighted a new poll shows 55% of Americans now approve of Trump’s handling of the pandemic, that “isn’t exactly a great number” during a crisis. (That’s especially true when the poll has a 5% margin of error, by the way). She compared that to President Obama’s 65-70% approval during crises.

“So I think the president is putting some of his credibility on line here in his effort to try and stoke hope and downplay some of the seriousness of the situation,” Pettypiece reiterated.

You have to wonder what it might take for reporters to come out with the obvious truth: Trump is unfit to steer our country through this perilous time.

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