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60 Minutes Interview With Whistleblower Draws Huge Ratings Despite Trump’s Complaints

Sunday night’s edition of 60 Minutes drew President Donald Trump’s ire for featuring an interview with Dr. Rick Bright, a government whistleblower who was recently ousted as the head of a federal vaccine agency. As it turned out, the president was one of nearly 10 million people who tuned in to the venerable newsmagazine on Sunday night.

According to data from Nielsen, Sunday night’s episode of 60 Minutes drew an overall audience of 9.7 million, and a 0.7 in the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demographic — which translates to roughly 900,000 viewers among that subset. The overall number represents a slight uptick from last week’s broadcast, which pulled in 9.53 million viewers.

The president lashed out at 60 Minutes and correspondent Norah O’Donnell — whom he referred to as a “third place anchor” — for its interview with Bright. Trump even demanded that Shari Redstone, the chair of CBS’ parent company, “take a look at her poorly performing gang.”

Yet the 60 Minutes numbers remained strong on Sunday night. A town hall with Trump which took place opposite 60 Minutes two weeks ago drew 3.82 million viewers — far less than half of the typical 60 Minutes audience.

During the broadcast, Bright claimed his firing was retaliatory, and warned of an ongoing “chaotic” response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The best scientists that we have in our government who are working really hard to try to figure this out aren’t getting that clear, cohesive leadership, strategic plan message yet,” Bright told CBS. “Until they get that, it’s still gonna be chaotic.”

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