CNN’s Keilar Coolly Rips Livid Trump Trade Chief on Coronavirus in Epic Clash: ‘You’re Wasting Everyone’s Time With This’


CNN’s Brianna Keilar and White House National Trade Council Director Peter Navarro held an intense, lengthy clash on whether the Trump administration was actually prepared to deal with the coronavirus.

Navarro gave an interview to Keilar on Thursday, where the discussion started with stories from health officials around the country who say COVID 19 is overwhelming their hospitals and draining them of essential resources. When Keilar asked why the government hasn’t done more to coordinate supplies and compel emergency production, Navarro rejected the premise to defend the government’s work with crucial organizations to mobilize shipments to outbreak hotspots.

“So there will be pictures of people that you’re citing or whatever with garbage bags, whatever,” Navarro said. “That’s going to be the exception that proves the world we’re doing everything we can.”

Things began to heat up when Keilar tried to asked Navarro a follow-up question, which led to him telling her “Let’s not sensationalize this crisis at a time where we create more anxiety or panic behavior with people.”

“I am not sensationalizing anything,” Keilar retorted. “I am tracking in facts here and governors are saying that their states are calling up these suppliers and FEMA’s already purchased everything. So they are siloed from things being allocated and coordinated and they’re trying to spend all of this time and energy trying to acquire some of these things, and they can’t get it.”

When Keilar eventually asked about Trump’s push to end social-distancing policies ahead of recommendations by health officials, things took a drastic turn as Navarro laid blame for the pandemic on China. He made his point while saying that the Chinese government never told the world of how the disease spreads, “and that has set the world back six weeks.”

Keilar noted that the administration “was clearly ill prepared for this” since the government knew the virus could be serious and that they were not ready to deal with it. This caused Navarro to pivot into attacking the Obama administration for how they handled the swine flu in 2009.

“Peter, why are you wasting your time on this and not solving the problem that you have?” Keilar asked, point-blank.

This led to Navarro accusing Keilar of making claims about the administration, and he also grumbled about her “interrupting me” when she tried to get back to the question of whether the government will be able to produce enough ventilators.

“Don’t tell me we were ill prepared for this,” Navarro said. “We inherited the system of testing and inherited of stockpiles that was woefully inadequate for this and there was plenty of people to the last two administrations who had wake up calls and they went back to sleep.”

“You’re wasting everyone’s time with this,” Keilar said again. “It’s 2020. The president was elected in 2016. Can you get to a million ventilators?”

Navarro deflected by saying “that number is way, way, way out,” and he complained when Keilar kept pressing him on how many ventilators he does expect the government to come up with if worst comes to worst.

“If you think that speaking in facts and truth is frightening to people, you have a problem,” Keilar said.

“Why do you keep shouting in my ear? I don’t understand.” Navarro responded.

“Because you’re not answering my question,” Keilar answered.

It all kept going from there

Watch above, via CNN.

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