The Sunday news network talk shows focused on what lies ahead for a post-shutdown America, but, as always, President Trump’s words were also a subject of debate.
Kevin Hassett, President Donald Trump’s economic adviser, appeared on ABC’s This Week to discuss the prospects for a recovery, post-shutdown. “[But] make no mistake,” Hassett told host George Stephanopoulos, “it’s a really grave situation, George. This is the biggest negative shot that our economy, I think, has ever seen. We’re going to be looking at an unemployment rate that approaches rates that we saw during the Great Depression…”
Sidestepping Joe Biden’s Election Theory
Stephanopoulos also spoke with former presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), who is considered to be in the running for Joe Biden’s vice presidential pick. Stephanopoulos asked the senator about Biden’s recent claim that President Trump may try to delay the November election. Clearly unable to rationalize the former vice president’s comments, Klobuchar talked instead about efforts to introduce mail-in voting for the election. She was unable, of course, to make any connection between those efforts and the danger of the election being postponed. As Stephanopoulos pointed out at the beginning of the segment, election day is set by Congress.
About That Detergent
On CNN’s State of the Union, host Jake Tapper tackled Dr. Deborah Birx about the president’s recent comment on the possibility of using light and disinfectant to kill Coronavirus. Several networks falsely claimed that Trump had suggested people inject themselves with household detergent – or ingest it – to treat themselves for COVID-19. Birx, who heads up the White House Coronavirus response team, dismissed the media’s continued focus on the issue. “It bothers me that this is still in the news cycle,” the doctor told Tapper, “because I think we’re missing the bigger pieces of what we need to be doing as an American people to continue to protect one another…” Birx went on to directly address the president’s misrepresented comments, which were, in fact, referring to a recent study he had been shown:
“I think I’ve answered that question. I think the president’s made it clear that the physicians had to study this. I think I’ve made it clear that this was a ‘musing’, as you describe, but I want us to move on, to be able to get information to the American people…”
Oklahoma is Coming Back
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) spoke with Fox News Sunday’s Chris Wallace, explaining his decision to reopen his state despite not having reached the phase one benchmark suggested by the White House’s Coronavirus Task Force. The governor defended the move by pointing out that Oklahoma had seen a “steady decline since March 30 in hospitalizations.” Stitt added:
“I can’t speak to what’s happening in other states, but in my state we’re seeing the trending going down, our testing going up, our tracing, we put 80 different testing sites up, we’ve tested over 55,000 folks, our positive tests right now are 6.3 percent, and again 300 hospitalized cases across the state with a capacity for 4,600, we think it’s a reasonable time to reopen.”
Oklahomans would still practice social distancing, Stitt added, but he said that it was “time for a measured reopening.”
Read more from Graham J. Noble.
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