President Donald Trump berated a CBS reporter during Monday's coronavirus task force media briefing when she demanded to know what the administration did to combat the coronavirus pandemic during the month of February.
The president was explaining why he didn't call for social distancing measures sooner when Paula Reid interrupted to ask why there didn't seem to be much of a response during February.
"How do you close down the greatest economy in the history of the world when on January 17th, you have no cases, and no death? When on January 21st, you have one case, and no death, one case, think of that," said Trump.
"Now we're supposed to close down the country?" he asked. "But here's what happened. When on January 31st, I instituted the ban, Joe Biden went crazy! He said, you don't need the ban! He didn't go crazy, he didn't even know what the hell the ban was."
The president went on to point out Democrats excoriated him for his travel ban but later admitted it was likely the right thing to do at the time.
"I saved tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of lives," claimed the president.
"But what did you do with that time you bought?" interrupted CBS reporter Paula Reid. "The argument is that you bought yourself some time, you didn't use it to prepare hospitals, you didn't use it to ramp up testing, right now, nearly 20 million people are unemployed, tens of thousands of Americans are dead!"
"You're so disgraceful! It's so disgraceful the way you say that!" replied the president.
"How is this sizzle reel or this rant supposed to make people feel confident in an unprecedented crisis?" asked Reid.
"Nobody thought we should do it, and when I did it," replied the president.
"But what did you do with the time that you bought? The month of February? Your video has a complete gap!" Reid pressed.
"What did your administration do in February with the time your travel ban bought you?" she asked.
"A lot!" replied the president.
"What?" Reid demanded.
"A lot! And in fact, we'll give you a list, what we did, in fact, part of it is up there, we did a lot," he responded.
"Look, Look. You know you're a fake," Trump said to Reid, "you know that, your whole network, the way you covered it is fake, and most of you, and not all of you, but the people are wise to you. That's why you have a lower approval rating than you've ever had before, times probably three."
The president went on to say that he could have kept the country open, but that it would have cost hundreds of thousands of American lives.
"We've done this right, and we've really, we really have done this right," Trump claimed. "The problem is the press doesn't cover it the way it should be."
The president also used the media briefing to quash speculation that he was thinking about firing Dr. Anthony Fauci from his coronavirus task force after he retweeted a criticism of the expert immunologist.
Here's the video of the fiery interaction:
Reporter grills Trump: What did you do for entire month? www.youtube.com