Fox News anchor Chris Wallace had a lot of thoughts on Friday morning following the massive news that President Donald Trump has tested positive for COVID-19, scolding the Trump family for declining to wear masks at Tuesday’s debate and then, in a later segment, dismissing the expertise of the president’s Fox-friendly coronavirus adviser.
Appearing on the president’s favorite morning program Fox & Friends, Wallace excoriated the Trumps for refusing to adhere to the safety restrictions put in place by the Cleveland Clinic at the debate hall.
“Mrs. Trump came in wearing a mask but took it off once she sat down,” he noted. “I didn’t see when they came in, but all the other members of the first family that I saw there, including Ivanka, Tiffany, when they sat down, they weren’t wearing masks.”
“I’m told by the pool of reporters who was there that somebody from the Cleveland Clinic came up to the first family—I believe this was before Mrs. Trump sat down—and offered the masks in case they didn’t have them, and they waved them away,” Wallace added.
The Fox News Sunday host, who was Tuesday night’s debate moderator, pointed out that his wife and four of his children were also at the hall, and they noticed that the first family didn’t wear masks. Wallace, meanwhile, highlighted that the Biden family and contingent were all wearing face coverings throughout the evening.
Notably, the president mocked former Vice President Joe Biden for frequently wearing a mask at the debate. After Wallace noted the president has repeatedly questioned the efficacy of masks, Trump first insisted he wears a mask “when I think I need it” before laughing at Biden.
“Every time you see him, he’s got a mask,” Trump quipped. “He could be speaking 200 feet away from it. And he shows up with the biggest mask I’ve ever seen.”
During a later appearance on Fox News’ America’s Newsroom, Wallace decried how mask-wearing had become a “political issue,” adding that top scientists say that masks are “the best weapon we currently have to avoid getting the disease and transmitting the disease.”
“If there is one lesson from today it’s here is the president of the United States who lives in the biggest bubble that exists on the planet and he got it through no fault of his own,” he continued.
“And so the answer is: wear the damn mask.”
Fox host Sandra Smith, meanwhile, brought up an “exclusive interview” that the network recent obtained from Dr. Scott Atlas, the president’s coronavirus adviser who Trump brought aboard largely due to his frequent Fox News appearances in which he downplayed the virus.
“He expects the president and first lady to make a ‘complete, full and rapid recovery after the two tested positive,’” Smith said. “He says that there is zero reason to panic. Again this is an exclusive interview to Fox.”
Wallace, however, was less than impressed with Atlas’ analysis, and wanted Fox viewers to know that the neuroradiologist was not an actual expert on the novel coronavirus.
“Well, I’m going to say something and folks—I’m just trying to give you the truth,” he declared. “Dr. Scott Atlas is not an epidemiologist, is not an infectious disease specialist. He has no training in this area at all.”
“There are a number of top people on the president’s coronavirus task force who have had grave concerns about Scott Atlas and his bona fides,” Wallace continued. “I’ll get a lot of pushback from this. I hope everything he says is true.”
After saying Atlas can’t possibly know if Trump and the first lady will quickly recover as they are still in the earliest stages of the disease, Wallace then reiterated that the public should trust the actual experts.
“But again, follow the scientists,” he concluded. “Listen to people like Anthony Fauci and people like Deborah Birx who have been largely cut off. Listen to the independent people who don’t have a political ax to grind. I frankly don’t think Scott Atlas is one of those people.”