CNN reporter Jim Acosta triggered severe backlash on Friday after he interrupted White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx to bash President Donald Trump.
During Friday's COVID-19 briefing, Birx addressed "who knew what when," an apparent response to media criticism of the Trump administration.
We can talk about why didn't Italy do something or Spain do something or Germany do something, or we can really say, right now, we all can do something. We can do the social distancing and all of the pieces that we know is starting to work around the globe in country after country. Then when we get through all of this, we can ask the questions about could we have done some piece of this better as a global community.
The doctor then pivoted to the World Health Organization's failures, and that is when Acosta attempted to score political points.
"I will remind you that on Feb. 3, the head of the WHO said there was no reason to ever do a travel ban. It wasn't until January 14 that we knew that there was human-to-human transmission," Birx said.
"The president was saying this was going to go away. It's April," Acosta interrupted.
Then Trump stepped in.
"It is going to go away," Trump fired back.
"But Mr. President, you said it was going to go away in April. You said that one day—" Acosta responded.
"I didn't say a day. I said it's going away, and it is going away," Trump shot back. "Okay. That was a good answer to your question. No, no, no, no, no, no more. That was a long but a very good answer. That was enough for you."
Dr. Deborah Birx says not to play the blame game and politely nukes reporters who are trying to ask “gotcha questio… https://t.co/6Ju5Gn9jUA— Nicole Saphier, MD (@Nicole Saphier, MD)1585957503.0
Acosta was blasted on social media in response.
"Jim Acosta's interruption of Dr. Birx is an example of how CNN's echo-journalism model is destroying the media's credibility. Every question from Acosta is an effort to score points rather than elicit information. It is a press pandemic that continues to rage without relief," constitutional lawyer Jonathan Turley said.
Jim Acosta's interruption of Dr. Birx is an example of how CNN's echo-journalism model is destroying the media's cr… https://t.co/0q3jtBxykB— Jonathan Turley (@Jonathan Turley)1585953104.0
"@Acosta just tried to mansplain to Dr. Birx," GOP spokeswoman Elizabeth Harrington said.
.@Acosta just tried to mansplain to Dr. Birx— Elizabeth Harrington (@Elizabeth Harrington)1585952881.0
"Of course Acosta interrupted Birx as she was making an interesting comment about WHO," reporter Chuck Ross said.
Of course Acosta interrupted Birx as she was making an interesting comment about WHO.— Chuck Ross (@Chuck Ross)1585952876.0
"Birx was rightly going off on the WHO and Acosta just couldn't let that happen," reporter Jerry Dunleavy said.
Birx was rightly going off on the WHO and Acosta just couldn't let that happen.— JERRY DUNLEAVY (@JERRY DUNLEAVY)1585954326.0