Donald Trump deflected CBS News White House Correspondent Weijia Jiang’s questions on Sunday during a White House coronavirus task force briefing.
Jiang asked the POTUS if he knew COVID-19 would become a pandemic back in February and asked why he held rallies when on March 23, he claimed that he knew the virus would be a pandemic.
In a transcript from RealClearPolitics
, Jiang said, “Many Americans [said] you should have warned them the virus was spreading like wildfire through the month of February instead of holding rallies with thousands of people. Why did you wait so long to warn them and why did you not have social distancing until March 16th?”
Trump instead asked, “Who are you with?”
A back-and-forth exchange occurred where the POTUS claimed he was “Very, very early” to address the virus and quarantine, whereas Jiang said, “When you issued the ban, the virus was already here.”
Trump continued, “If you look at what I did in terms of cutting off or banning China from coming in –“
Jiang addressed back, “Chinese nationals,” and implied that there were also Americans coming back from China who were not properly quarantined.
He then asked another question, “How many people died?”
“Zero deaths at the time I closed up the country. Nobody was there. And you should say thank you very much for good judgment,” he ended.
As Yamiche Alcindor, a PBS NewsHour White House correspondent pointed out, “there is still no answer on why Trump held rallies in February or didn’t warn ppl sooner.”