On Outnumbered, Fox News' Chris Wallace shot down Trump apologist Mollie Hemmingway's ridiculous assertion that health officials haven't expressed concerns over the spread of coronavirus at the protests across the country in order to justify Trump holding his MAGA rallies.
June 16, 2020

I don't consider Chris Wallace a journalist, and I don't consider Fox a "news" channel, but as far as Trump's propaganda network goes, Wallace is one one the better ones on there who regularly raises the ire of our so-called president, and this Monday was no exception when Wallace was the "One Lucky Guy" on one of their daytime panel shows, Outnumbered.

Wallace and his fellow cohost and token liberal, former State Department spokesperson, Marie Harf did a nice job of taking another Fox regular and contributor at The Federalist, Mollie Hemmingway, when she made the ridiculous assertion that public health officials and journalists have not expressed concern over the potential spread of the coronavirus due to these protests taking place in cities all across the country.

Sadly for Hemmingway, Wallace had one of those health experts on his show the previous day talking about that very subject, and he wasn't about to allow her to minimize the dangers that these MAGA rallies pose to the health and safety of the people attending them, and anyone unfortunate enough to be exposed to them in the weeks following the rallies.

Harris Faulkner started things off asking Wallace about the spike in cases in Oklahoma, where Trump plans to hold his first rally this week, and has asked those participating to sign waivers not to sue.

FAULKNER: Reuters is reporting Oklahoma saw a record spike in coronavirus cases over the past several weeks, and tells us top health officials is not urging the campaign to postpone the rally. Saying this. "I'm concerned about our ability to protect anyone who attends a large indoor event, and I'm also concerned about our ability to ensure the president stays safe as well."

Chris Wallace, I come to you on this. These events are not going to be small, just if we look at how they have been in the past. Even with social distancing, is this a problem for the White House?

WALLACE: :Well, there are two points I want to make here, that you had in your intro. In terms of enthusiasm, and he saw it with the huge fund-raising and deceit with 800,000 people trying to get into this rally, the president does in fact have a huge advantage when it comes to enthusiasm over Joe Biden.

In a Washington Post poll over the weekend, 53% of Trump supporter said they were very enthusiastic about voting for the president. Only 24%, less than half as many Biden supporters, said they were enthusiastic about voting for Joe Biden. So the president clearly has an advantage there.

Now we get to the rally. It's going to be in an indoor arena, 19,000 people. I'm sure it'll be filled to the rafters, because the president does have enthusiastic support.

FAULKNER: Yes, he does.

WALLACE: And every health official I've heard from his putting up a huge red flag about this. You've got Bruce Dart, the top health official in Tulsa saying that we can't protect people. You know that it's dangerous, because the campaign and the people in Tulsa are saying anybody who goes in is going to have to sign a waiver that they can't sue us if they get COVID. And on Sunday, yesterday, on Fox News Sunday, we had Dr. Bruce Osterholm, one of the top of top epidemiologists of University of Minnesota, one of the top experts in the country, he said, "I would not allow a member of my family go to an event like that. We have 20,000 people in a close space, many of them without masks, shouting, which is a way to project the virus." I just don't understand it. I understand the president wanting to get out...

When Harris tried to interrupt and go to Mollie Hemmingway, Wallace insisted on finishing his point:

WALLACE: Can i just say this quickly? Harris, it's one thing to social distance, to have masks on, to be in not big groups. It's a different thing to have 20,000 people in a closed arena, most of them shouting without masks.

Harris then asked Hemmingway the same question, whether this presents a problem for the White House, and that's when Hemmingway did her best to give Trump his out for endangering the health of his constituents.

HEMMINGWAY: The way I look at this is we've had weeks upon weeks of large massive protests in the cities throughout the country, really can be viewed in some ways is anti-lockdown protests in addition to their political aims aims.

And we had pretty much everybody in the media and all public health officials being like, "yeah, that's fine." They lost their credibility in doing that if they wanted to keep events like this from happening. You can say, "oh, people won't wear masks, or it's indoors," or whatnot, but I don't think those arguments are as persuasive to people who are still being subjected to lockdowns in many states, or shutdowns.

They can't go to funerals of their loved ones, their kids can't play on playgrounds, but they are looking around and just seeing tens of thousands of people day after day in cities across the country with public health officials cheering it on.

And again, there's just been a complete loss of credibility when it comes to our government officials, our public health officials, and our media and terms of how they treat gatherings by people based on whether they share the political motivation of the people involved.

FAULKNER: Marie, I want to give a chance to respond to that.

I've seen the media take their focus off of the pandemic to cover the protests, but I've yet to see a single health official say that there aren't dangers there for the people on the streets, or try to minimize the fact that people are putting their lives and health at risk by choosing to participate.

To his credit, Wallace interrupted and made the same point as well, with an assist by Marie Harf who whacked Trump for wanting to pretend that the pandemic is over, despite the fact that cases are rising in states all across the country:

WALLACE: First of all, a lot of public health officials were very much opposed to the protests. They were a bad idea in terms of public health, and, we don't know the impact they are going to have, because incubation period back is two weeks. So let's wait and see. A week from now.. you know there are 14 states --

FRANCIS: Nobody's being forced to go anywhere or do any of this.

WALLACE: – that have seen on increase in the coronavirus, and this is something to be very concerned about.

HARF: And Harris, the president wants to pretend like –

FAULKNER: We are better than two weeks into this process, so we will start to see what this testing results are like. If people actually get tested, if they choose to do that. Marie?

HARF: Yeah, I'm sorry, Harris. I didn't mean to step on your toes there. The president wants to pretend like coronavirus is no longer a threat. And we see in numerous states, including Oklahoma, that the numbers are rising. They've had the highest rates of infection over the past few days... Oklahoma, Arizona, South Carolina.

The president wants to pretend like we won this battle, and we haven't, and this is his demonstration of that. But if people come away from this rally sick, when you have health officials pleading with him not to have this rally, it is indicative of the fact that he wants to move on. He wants to talk about anything else, and unfortunately the virus has a mind of its own. And we can't.

FAULKNER: I'm going to move on myself.

Or as Chuck Todd would say, we'll have to leave it there. Time to change the subject when a couple of them go off script.

We'll see how enthusiastic his supporters are if these rallies start filling up emergency rooms around the country. They'll try to lie about it and hide the numbers like they're doing in Florida, but if it gets bad enough, there's a breaking point where their dangerous games don't work any more.

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