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VIDEO: Fox's Jesse Watters debunks the left's attacks on Trump's coronavirus response


No, CDC funding has not been cut

Image source: Video screenshot

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, Democratic politicians, members of the media, and left-wing pundits have attacked President Donald Trump's response to the pandemic with smears that have been debunked by fact-checkers. Although at least one poll shows that a plurality of Americans blame China's communist government for the spread of the deadly illness, the false attacks have resulted in Democrats being twice as likely to point their fingers at the nation's commander in chief than the regime in Beijing.

Fox News sets the record straight

To tackle the left's misinformation, Fox News host Jesse Watters delivered an extensive monologue on his program, "Watters World," on Saturday that set the record straight on all of the false left-wing attacks against Trump over his handling of COVID-19.

"There's a lot of fake news on Trump's war on the coronavirus whirling around Washington, Watters said. "I'm not going to explain it all in detail. We just don't have the time. I'm just going to tell it to you straight up so we can move on."

Here are the facts

Watters then laid out the following facts.

  1. "The Trump Administration did not cut funding for the CDC." Watters noted that despite the Democrats' claims that Trump cut funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, federal funding for the top public health institute has actually gone up every year that Trump has been in office. While it is true that the president's 2021 budget included a 16% cut to the CDC, as fact-checkers have noted, not only were the cuts never enacted, they targeted programs that were outside of the center's mission and fall within the domain of other agencies, such as heart disease prevention. In fact, as the Washington Post explained, the president's budget proposal included a $50 million increase in funding for the CDC departments that focus on global health security and pandemics like the coronavirus.
  2. "Trump did not get rid of the pandemic unit at the National Security Council." Contrary to claims made by leading Democrats, the NSC's pandemic unit was not dissolved, it just moved to another different division under a different title, as Watters explained. The accusation was also described as "specious," by the former senior director for counterproliferation and biodefense at the NSC when the reorganization took place.
  3. "The Trump Administration did not refuse to accept testing kits from the World Health Organization." Biden has accused the administration of "refusing" to accept testing kits from the WHO, but as PolitiFact has noted, this is not true. "The WHO never offered to sell test kits to the United States," wrote fact-checkers. "The CDC opted to develop its own coronavirus test and did not use the WHO's protocol for the test. Other developed countries with advanced research capabilities developed their own tests."
  4. "Trump has not muzzled his scientists." Media outlets, such as Business Insider and others, have accused the Trump administration of silencing its top scientists. This is also false and has been debunked by the scientists themselves. As TheBlaze reported on February 29, reporters posed this very question to Dr. Fauci himself who categorically denied that he was being "muzzled" by anyone. "I have never been muzzled — never — and I've been doing this since the administration of Ronald Reagan," he said. "I'm not being muzzled by this administration."
  5. "Trump did not tell governors 'you're on your own' with having to buy ventilators." Members of the New York Times edited a recommendation Trump made to the country's governors to try obtaining ventilators on their own to make him appear cruel and insensitive. "Trump to Governors on Ventilators: 'Try Getting It Yourselves'" read a Times headline. However, the full quote shows what the president was telling the governors is that they could probably obtain ventilators and medical supplies more quickly on their own, but that the federal government was there to support them if needed. "We will be backing you, but try getting it yourselves. Point of sales, much better, much more direct if you can get it yourself."
  6. "Trump did not call coronavirus a 'hoax.'" A campaign video by Joe Biden claims that Trump called COVID-19 a "hoax," but this charge has been discredited by fact-checkers. "The video makes it seem like Trump is calling the disease itself a hoax, which he hasn't done. The words are Trump's, but the editing is Biden's," wrote PolitiFact. As TheBlaze has reported, other news agencies have debunked this accusation, including CBS' Scott Pelley who corrected failed presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg when he leveled the same charge against Trump. "He said the Democrats making so much of it is a Democratic hoax, not that the virus was a hoax," Pelley said.
  7. "The American people do approve of the way the president is handling the coronavirus." As TheBlaze has noted, several polls released on Friday show that Americans give Trump high marks for his management of the coronavirus pandemic. According to a nationwide ABC News/Ipsos study taken March 18-19, 55% of Americans approve of the president's management of COVID-19. Meanwhile, a separate survey by Harris Insights found nearly identical numbers with 56% supporting him.
  8. "The president said Google was working with him to create a virus testing website for all Americans." Democrats and several news outlets attempted to discredit a statement made by Trump at a March 13 press conference where he announced his administration is working with Google on developing a national coronavirus testing. Democratic pundits nit-picked his words and argued he made a false statement as it is Verily, and not Google, that is developing the website. However, as TheBlaze pointed out, Verily is a Google company and spokespeople for both entities have confirmed they are indeed collaborating on a COVID-19 triage website.

Watters added: "The president is doing the best he can, balancing optimism with the grim reality of the pandemic." This is also true.

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