CNN anchor Brianna Keilar fired back at Fox News on Wednesday after the network blasted her outlet for recently interviewing Microsoft founder Bill Gates as a coronavirus authority, touting his expertise and efforts combating pandemics while mocking the so-called “experts” Fox News has turned to on the subject.
In an interview this week with CNN anchor Jake Tapper, Gates—whose foundation has been involved in developing and distributing COVID-19 vaccines—said that the next four to six months could be the worst of the pandemic. He further said the virus could have an impact into 2022, and warned that bars and restaurants may still experience reduced business and closures.
“During the largest surge of a deadly pandemic, this is the inconvenient truth even with a flailing economy,” Keilar noted Wednesday afternoon. “Just ask the CDC. In September, it explained that adults who tested positive for coronavirus were about twice as likely to have reported dining at a restaurant than those who tested negative.”
Keilar, meanwhile, pointed out that Gates’ remarks were roundly criticized on Fox News, with many of the hosts and pundits questioning Gates’ credentials and calling him a wealthy “globalist” who couldn’t empathize with the ongoing struggle for small businesses.
“He worked hard, but the person who will come and pick up the garbage outside my house today, they work hard,” Fox Business Network host Charles Payne said this week, dismissing Gates’ remarks.
“Perhaps there is common ground between Fox and AOC since that is the crux of the liberal argument in the wealth-gap debate,” Keilar snarked after airing Payne’s comments.
Acknowledging that Americans are, indeed, losing their jobs and millions are going hungry, Keilar noted that there is a “legitimate debate to be had about restrictions.” However, she said, Fox News has painted all coronavirus restrictions as attacks on personal freedom—stripped of any and all nuance of a policy debate.
“And now they are attacking a billionaire whose wealth they normally champion, whose foundation is donating nearly $2 billion to deliver vaccines to poor countries,” she continued. “More than $100 million of that money from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation donated to manufacture vaccines.”
“Gates has also donated billions of dollars over the years to focus on, what, global pandemics,” the anchor continued. “But don’t tell that to Planet Fox’s doctor-for-hire.”
The CNN anchor then aired a clip of Fox News medical contributor Dr. Marc Siegel and Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson ridiculing the Gates interview, complaining that the network “had on a computer expert to talk about COVID” instead of a physician. (Interestingly, Carlson would bring on Barstool Sports president Dave Portnoy the following night to provide analysis on the coronavirus.)
“Now that’s rich coming from Dr. Siegel, a celebrity doctor of internal medicine, not to be confused with celebrity doctor of epidemiology,” Keilar scoffed. “True, he isn’t exactly the Geek Squad member you want mixing your laptop but is he really the M.D. that you want at your bedside?”
Keilar then aired footage of Dr. Siegel downplaying the coronavirus as nothing more than the flu, boasting about President Donald Trump’s cognitive abilities, wildly speculating on-air about the medical conditions of people that he hasn’t personally diagnosed, and casually suggesting Joe Biden is “on drugs” and suffering from “silent strokes.”
“And now he is bothered about CNN interviewing Bill Gates as an expert on pandemics,” she said. “Perhaps the good doctor needs a simple medical procedure known as having his ears cleaned because Bill Gates has been sounding the alarm on infectious disease and pandemics for decades in medical journals, on television, in lectures like this one that he gave more than five years ago.”
The CNN anchor’s lengthy Fox takedown concluded with a highlight of the “experts” that Fox News has sought advice from regarding the deadly virus that has now killed more than 300,000 Americans. The montage of conservative pundits, contrarian doctors, and celebrities ended with Fox News host Jesse Watters claiming that the spread of the virus in New York City was due to “very low-income people” touching a “lot of handles and doorknobs.”
“Speaking of doorknobs, that is exactly what he and his pals are,” Keilar concluded. “On the doors that swing open every day to an alternate reality known as Planet Fox.”