White House trade advisor Peter Navarro was at the receiving end of an oral saw on Thursday afternoon when CNN presenter Brianna Keilar relentlessly berated the government’s unwillingness for the coronavirus pandemic and specifically told him he was wasting “all the time.” “.
With victims of the fatal corona virus across the country and hospitals running out of supplies when patients are overcrowded, Keilar Navarro faced the Trump administration’s apparent inability to provide ventilators and masks to places and states in need.
Navarro, a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, immediately questioned Keilar’s questioning and asked her not to “raise awareness of this crisis” because it “would create more fear and panic.”
“I am not raising awareness,” Keilar replied, noting that she was following what the governors are saying, that their states are missing from the federal government. She then raised the desperate need for ventilators across the country and indicated that the current estimate will fall far short of requirements.
“In fairness, the government was clearly ill-prepared,” she said. “It’s not something that these viruses happen and how terrible they are, but it is things that happen. Your government knew in the summer when it did an exercise that this would be a problem and lacked preparation, which is why we are getting you to talk about the supply chain.
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“At the moment, it looks like the US capacity will be around 200,000 ventilators, and experts say a million may be needed,” continued Keilar. “Will you be able to meet that demand?”
Navarro started to complain about what the Trump White House had inherited from the Obama team and made Keilar wonder why he was wasting his time and not focusing on the problem at hand.
Finally, the Trump adjutant pointed again at the president’s predecessor, complaining that the White House had inherited insufficient inventory and testing systems.
“You are wasting everyone’s time,” the CNN host replied. “It’s 2020. The president was elected in 2016. Can you reach a million ventilators?”
Navarro went on to state that the number of ventilators needed was “far, far, far out there” and “wildly above what we need” before claiming that they would start production. Then he continued to complain about how Keilar treated him.
“I think what is important for CNN here is to report this soberly, without scaring America, and only have reasonable conversations when someone comes out of the White House instead of just shouting in our ears,” grumbled he.
“Peter, I will tell you that I think a lot of people calm down when they have information, and even if it is bad news, they know the size of the problem and the government has a plan for it.” CNN Anchor replied. “This is what we are trying to get with you. You are responsible for the supply chain. That is the most pressing problem right now. I do not know that I actually have a clear picture when I spoke to you today.”
After annoying Keilar, who described the Trump administration as unprepared, Navarro tried to end the interview by blaming the government’s late response to the pandemic in China, which gave the country a “bad hand” would have.
“Peter, it’s just a waste of time to say that,” chided Keilar Navarro. “I’ll leave it there.”
“Why is that a waste of time?” Navarro pleaded.
“We don’t have time anymore and that’s just ridiculous,” she replied and ended the interview.
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