CNN said Thursday that Vice President Mike Pence's office is refusing to allow leading health experts from the White House coronavirus task force to appear on the network in an effort to pressure CNN to carry the the daily COVID-19 White House press briefings in full.
"When you guys cover the briefings with the health officials then you can expect them back on your air," a spokesperson for the vice president reportedly told CNN.
Pence's office, which is responsible for booking task force officials for interviews on various networks, has allegedly been blocking all CNN appearances since last Thursday night.
The move comes after the left-leaning network decided in recent weeks not to carry the full press briefings, which include comments and updates from Pence as well as health officials on the task force such as Dr. Anthony Fauci, Dr. Deborah Birx, FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, and Surgeon General Jerome Adams.
At the time, a CNN spokesperson responded to criticism from the White House, saying, "If the White House wants to ask for time on the network, they should make an official request. Otherwise we will make our own editorial decisions."
On Thursday, CNN reporter Oliver Darcy acknowledged that the network "often only broadcasts President Donald Trump's question and answer session, which sometimes includes the health care officials, live on-air."
"After Trump leaves the podium, CNN frequently cuts out of the White House briefing to discuss and fact-check what the President had said," Darcy added.