With Donald Trump in the hot seat over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, Jeanine Pirro chatted with Surgeon General Jerome Adams to suggest it’s not Donald Trump’s responsibility to handle the outbreak (it’s ours!) and to scold us over “finger pointing” at Dear Leader. But our NewsHounds Wayback Machine is here to remind us what a different tune she sang when Obama dealt with the Ebola outbreak.
Our friends at Crooks and Liars caught Pirro clutching her pearls over those who might be a tad ticked off at Trump’s bungling and misinformation:
PIRRO: I was cheering you on, because I think that the finger-pointing that's been going on against this administration when we are dealing with something new, something we've never dealt with before, something we're not actually built to deal with. You came out and said, "Enough. Let's just do it."
But as C&L’s Aliza Worthington notes, “this IS something we have dealt with before! This is NOT our first pandemic! We actually ARE built to deal with this! We HAVE — I'm sorry, we HAD organizations, agencies, contingency plans set up for things just exactly for potentialities such as this!” Worthington is referring to how Trump sabotaged U.S. preparedness for a pandemic – which President Barack Obama had left in place for him, built on the Ebola outbreak.
Thanks to the NewsHounds Wayback Machine, we know that Pirro’s response to Obama’s handling of the Ebola outbreak was a finger-pointing frenzy, even though Ebola left the U.S. relatively untouched (thank you, Obama). Pirro all but accused Obama of deliberately killing Americans, as you can see in the hilarious Colbert Report video below. This is what she said then, though the transcript doesn't begin to capture her histrionics:
PIRRO: White House spokesman Josh Earnest says that screening procedures are in place at our border and people are screened as soon as they get here. Really? You’re kidding, right? What’s that? You’re saying that because you don’t want people to panic? You don’t want us to panic – how about I don’t want us to die!
The Trump administration, I will remind you, allowed 14 Americans who had tested positive for COVID-19 (coronavirus) to fly on a plane with uninfected passengers over the objections of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But to listen to Pirro, staying alive through the coronavirus is everyone else’s responsibility but Trump’s. She was aided and abetted in that effort by Surgeon General Jerome Adams:
ADAMS: We have a choice. Do we want to look more like South Korea, with a lower mortality rate, or do we want to look more like Italy? And if we want to look more like South Korea at the end of this, then we need everyone to understand, we're not going to solve this problem from Washington, D.C., we're not going to solve it from the CDC in Atlanta, it's going to be solved at the community level, and it's going to be solved by people coming together.
I want people to use their energy, particularly in these next few critical weeks, to really push the information out to people that they can use to protect themselves. You are not helpless America. You can wash your hands. You can social distance and stay home. ... We all need to lean into the social distancing and mitigation measures to make sure we’re keeping the most vulnerable among us safe. Coronavirus.gov for tips on how you can be a part of the solution.
Oh, and those tests that will help officials understand how and where the disease is spreading and help diagnose patients? U.S. testing is way behind other countries in testing and it’s another leadership failure of Trump.
Adams suggested lack of testing is no biggie:
ADAMS: An important point about testing, and we brought this up today during the press conference. If you have respiratory symptoms, if you’re coughing, if you’ve got a fever, then you probably have an infectious disease of some kind. And to be honest, it is still more likely to be flu or something else than it is to be coronavirus in most of our communities. But either way, you shouldn’t be around other people. And so the test is not going to change what we recommend that people do in most cases ‘cause we’re still going to say go home, stay away from other people so that you don’t get them sick. What the testing’s going to do is allow us to do more surveillance and understand the underlying rates in our communities. But I don’t want to wait for the testing results. I want people to take this seriously now.
Just don’t expect Trump to take it seriously, Adams forgot to mention.
And we all know that if Obama was president, everybody on Fox would be talking about individual responsibility and not pointing any fingers at him, right?
You can watch the hypocrisy with your own eyes below, from the March 14, 2020 Justice with Judge Jeanine, via Crooks and Liars, and the far more enjoyable October 6, 2014 Colbert Report monologue.
3/16/20 Update: Trump tried pawning off his responsibility on governors this morning. Kudos to Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM) for demanding and getting a promise from Mike Pence to work with her to supply what she needs to handle the state’s response.
I agree with John McKee about Colbert. I wasn’t an early fan but have converted.