Rachel Maddow Roasts WH’s Angry Letter to WHO That Included Key False Claim: ‘Completely Incompetent at Even Trying to Ineffectually Insult Someone’
Rachel Maddow roasted the Trump White House for its “increasingly insane” national response and called out its inclusion of a demonstrably false claim in its angry letter to the World Health Organization threatening to pull funding from the group.
On her Tuesday night show, the liberal MSNBC host excoriated the Trump administration’s sloppiness and incompetence, noting that it was quickly debunked by the very medical journal the White House cited in its case against W.H.O. The threatening letter, addressed to W.H.O. Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom, was released on Monday and tweeted out by the president, who said it was “self-explanatory.”
This is the letter sent to Dr. Tedros of the World Health Organization. It is self-explanatory! pic.twitter.com/pF2kzPUpDv
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 19, 2020
Recently, Trump has begun repeatedly blaming the massive scale of the Covid-19 outbreak on an allegedly dishonest and inept response by the organization, and threatened to temporarily halt or permanently cease the U.S.’s funding for the public health group. This is despite Trump praising W.H.O. in February for “working very hard and very smart.”
The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. We are in contact with everyone and all relevant countries. CDC & World Health have been working hard and very smart. Stock Market starting to look very good to me!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 24, 2020
This absurd about-face clearly influenced Maddow’s comments.
“When I say that the national response is increasingly insane, I mean, that’s what I mean,” she said. “It’s one thing to be incompetent. It’s another thing to add a whole new self-inflicted level of public health harm, misinformation, and almost literal insanity in terms of understanding the facts about the virus on top of what you already have to cope with.”
“All the while the president continues to try to blame somebody else, anybody else, for what has gone wrong here,” Maddow added. “The president’s letter said, quote: ‘We know the following: ‘The W.H.O. consistently ignored credible reports of the virus spreading in Wuhan in early December 2019 or even earlier according to reports from The Lancet medical journal.”
“The Lancet medical journal wrote to the White House today to say: ‘Oh, my god, what are you talking about?'” Maddow then said, joking about the rapid and total debunking. “I’m paraphrasing that. But that’s basically what they — I mean, here’s what they said. I can quote it. Quote: ‘This statement is factually incorrect. The Lancet published no report referring to a virus or outbreak in Wuhan or anywhere else in China.’ Like I said: oh my god, what are you talking about? The continued quote: ‘The allegations leveled against W.H.O. in President Trump’s letter are serious and damaging to efforts to strengthen international cooperation to control this pandemic.'”
Statement from The Lancet in response to President Donald Trump’s May 18 letter to Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization pic.twitter.com/JX8orfpMPB
— The Lancet (@TheLancet) May 19, 2020
“We’re beyond shame at this point. I would like to note for the record that it is humiliating that this is the behavior of our government. It is so embarrassing that this is the kind of thing the White House sends out these days in the name of the American people,” Maddow ranted, before directly dressing down the White House. “I mean, did you even look that up before you put it in the letter to the W.H.O.? Oh, there was stuff in The Lancet in early December about Wuhan. I heard it — what, on talk radio or on Fox and Friends or something? Without checking whether or not that was true ,you put it in a letter in writing and sent it to the World Health Organization assuming it was true or wouldn’t matter if it wasn’t. You’re not writing a letter to the editor. You’re not a crank calling in at the end of the Rush Limbaugh show to get your dittos. You are the White House speaking on behalf of the most powerful and previously most respected country on Earth and you’re just making that stuff up in front of everybody.”
“I mean, it’s one thing to be defunding the W.H.O. and blaming them for what we’ve done wrong. It’s another thing to be completely incompetent at even trying to ineffectually insult someone whose help we need. It’s just…” a clearly frustrated Maddow said, trailing off. But it’s endemic now. It is just the way they are and, with this president in charge for long enough, it’s in every aspect of the federal response.”
Watch the video above, via MSNBC.
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