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NY Times Health Reporter Says CDC Director Should Resign Over ‘Incompetent’ Response to Virus

New York Times science and health reporter Donald McNeil Jr. offered a blistering assessment of the U.S. response to the coronavirus, telling Christiane Amanpour, “We completely blew it for the first two months of our response.”

“Yes, it’s the president’s fault. It’s not China’s fault,” he said.

He compared the U.S. response to other nations and said we “lost two months” because of “incompetent leadership at the CDC, I’m sorry to say.”

“It’s a great agency, but it’s incompetently led. I think Dr. Redfield should resign,” McNeil said.

He also pointed to “suppression from the top” and called out public comments President Donald Trump has made during this crisis. In response to what Trump said this week talking up testing, an exasperated McNeil said:

“This is the same guy who said inject yourself with disinfectant… This is not somebody whose grasp of the science is even third-grade level. So the idea that he could be quoting epidemiological statistics and be expected to get them right is terrifyingly wrong.”

Washington Post media critic Erik Wemple flagged the segment as “an important coronavirus media moment” given his particular expertise on the subject:

UPDATE — 8:13 pm ET: Times editors have since spoken to McNeil, a statement from the paper says, for going “too far in expressing his personal views”:

You can watch above, via CNN International.

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac