Trump campaign spokesman Hogan Gidley faced a tough grilling by CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota on Wednesday morning, touching upon the White House claim that President Donald Trump has already ended the coronavirus pandemic. In response, Gidley squirmed, claiming he didn’t “write the document” and didn’t want to “quibble over semantics.”
Despite the United States seeing a surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations as the country experiences record-high daily cases, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy released a document this week that included “ending the COVID-19 pandemic” as one of the Trump administration’s first-term accomplishments.
Camerota immediately referenced this statement during her New Day interview with Gidley, wondering aloud how the White House could justify its claim that the president had brought an end to a clearly ongoing crisis.
The Trump flack attempted to deflect the question, praising the president’s “leadership” while blaming the World Health Organization for lying “about all the malfeasance,” prompting Camerota to once again press Gidley on the White House’s false claim.
“I’m not talking about fighting it, I’m talking about ending it. Do you think that the pandemic has ended?” the CNN anchor asked.
“Well, we’re moving in the right direction,” Gidley responded. “I think that’s what the president’s been talking about on the campaign trail, we’re seeing a reduction in deaths by 70 percent from the middle of March.”
Camerota, meanwhile, noted that roughly one-thousand people are still dying daily from the disease before again asking whether or not he believes that the pandemic has ended.
“I didn’t write, I didn’t write the document, I don’t know who said that—the president’s not saying that on the campaign trail,” Gidley stammered as Camerota asked if he believes the document is “erroneous” and “wrong.”
“I don’t know, I’ve not seen the document, I’m just telling you we’re moving in the right direction,” the flustered Trump flack replied. “I’m not looking at the document, I don’t know what the document says or how it characterizes the word ‘ending,’ but I’m not going to quibble over semantics. The fact is, we’re moving the right direction.”
Camerota eventually moved past the White House statement and to the Trump campaign continuing to hold large public rallies, with little social distancing and mask-wearing, in coronavirus hot spots amid the surge in cases.
“I mean, hospitals in Wisconsin are near capacity,” she declared, “and so does that give you any pause or the vice president any pause about going there and holding a big rally?”
Gidley seemed to shrug off any potential impact to attendees in the hard-hit region, instead suggesting the rally was a good idea because Pence has good medical staff for himself.
“No, it doesn’t,” he proclaimed. “The vice president has the best doctors in the world around him, they’re obviously contact traced and have come to the conclusion it’s fine for him to be out on the campaign trail. The American people have the right under the First Amendment to peaceably assemble, too.”