Brian Kilmeade spent much of Friday morning’s Fox & Friends trying to equate the September 11 attacks to the coronavirus pandemic. It didn’t go well.
Speaking about the aftermath of that horrible morning 19 years ago today, Kilmeade said, “The fact is, we rallied around the president. We weren’t talking about what went wrong.”
“That’s a little different than the pandemic,” he continued. “I mean, when it first hit, everyone was pointing fingers today. Back then, no one was saying, ‘That’s a Republican president, I wonder if he’s going to get blamed.”
“Yeah, a lot has changed in the country,” his co-host Steve Doocy lamented.
But that wasn’t all. Later in the show, during an interview with former New York City Mayor—and President Trump’s personal lawyer—Rudy Giuliani, Kilmeade actually used 9/11 to defend Trump’s decision to mislead the American public about the pandemic, as outlined by Bob Woodward in his new book Rage.
“You heard about an attack, and you didn’t call a press conference to panic people,” Kilmeade told Giuliani. “What, did you lie to them? I don’t think so.”
And yet somehow, that wasn’t even the most inane analogy that Kilmeade made on Friday about the attacks and the coronavirus. Speaking to Geraldo Rivera, the host attempted to criticize cities for not reopening as quickly after COVID-19 as New York did after 9/11.
“Here it is, New York is attacked, America is under siege,” Kilmeade said. “We don’t know where the president is for a short time, we don’t know how we’re going to respond to this. We’re not even sure quite who did it, even though we thought it was Bin Laden.”
“But at the same time, New York kept moving,” he continued. “In a very short time, the stock market was open, people still were getting into subways. People still went to work, at the same time keeping an ear to the news to find out what’s next as we mobilized in a matter of months and kill almost every single person that was involved in this, the first generation of al Qaeda.”
“That’s what’s different now. This, we stopped!” he said. “And America looked around and goes, ‘What do we do?’ We knew who the enemy was then. Here, we’ve got this invisible virus that the Chinese are responsible for, but it doesn’t look like that’s an attack.”
Beside the fact that the coronavirus has now killed approximately 65 times as many Americans as lost their lives on September 11—and more Americans died from the virus during the 2020 Republican National Convention than on 9/11—the fundamental differences between a terrorist attack and a pandemic are almost too obvious to point out.
After the World Trade Center attack, New Yorkers overcame fear and attempted to return to some sense of normal by going out, being with family and friends, attending concerts and sporting events. When the pandemic hit, the patriotic thing to do was stay inside and away from other people to stop the spread of the deadly virus.
The two scenarios are almost completely opposite—a reality that Kilmeade failed to either understand or explain to viewers.
Instead of addressing or refuting any of the points Kilmeade was trying to make, Rivera responded by explaining that “one of the great joys” of his life was reporting live in 2011 that Osama bin Laden had been killed by Navy SEALS—under the leadership of President Barack Obama.