CNN anchor Brianna Keilar tore into Fox News medical contributor Dr. Marc Siegel on Thursday, taking aim at Siegel’s Trump-friendly coronavirus coverage and downplaying of the pandemic while labeling him a “sycophant.”
Coming off an obsequious interview with President Donald Trump that saw the president telling Siegel he was his coronavirus “guide,” the Fox News doctor on Thursday gushed over the president’s ability to recall five words.
“In a sense, that interview was a cognitive test. As you know, he is extremely sharp on every second,” Siegel said on Fox & Friends. “And he did a test on TV where he basically, you know, went through how great his memory is.”
After snarking that Trump treated the passing of a basic cognitive assessment as if “he just discovered electricity,” Keilar noted on Thursday afternoon that Trump also heaped praise on Siegel during their friendly Fox News chat.
“I watch you all the time and I watch you almost like my guide to this because, frankly, you have a good take on it, you know how important it is,” Trump told Siegel in a clip Keilar played for CNN viewers.
“So since Dr. Marc Siegel is the president’s guide in this historic pandemic,” Keilar added, “it is worth looking at what the good doctor has advised millions over the past few months on. Here he is in March.”
She played video of Siegel claiming at the time that the “worst-case scenario” for coronavirus was the seasonal flu, contrasting the Fox doctor’s comments with top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci explaining a week later that the virus was at least ten times as deadly as the flu.
Keilar also showed segments where Siegel parroted the president’s criticism of the World Health Organization and played down the potential of a second wave, adding that the U.S. has plenty of testing for when teachers and students go back to school.
“All right, two things: the U.S. isn’t even out of its first wave, and in the weeks after Siegel made that comment cases in the U.S. increased by 2.6 million and 63,000 more Americans died,” she said. “And Siegel mentioned that we would have plenty of testing for kids and teachers? We’re getting ready for the start of the school year and testing is a disaster. It’s taking two weeks for many Americans to get results.”
The CNN anchor wrapped up her takedown by noting that Siegel has also echoed the White House’s attempts to publicly undermine Fauci, playing video of the Fox News doc saying Fauci’s job is to agree with the president.
“Well, Dr. Siegel is more of a sycophant than a doctor,” Keilar concluded. “And he’s not President Trump’s ‘coronavirus guide.’ President Trump appears to be his.”