CNN anchor Brianna Keiler lost patience with White House official Peter Navarro when he was explaining the backstory behind the coronavirus pandemic and current response.
The Hill reports CNN anchor Brianna Keilar had a testy on-air interview with White House trade adviser Peter Navarro on Thursday as they discussed the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.
The back-and-forth came after Keiler raised a Thursday report that includes photos of nurses in proper personal protective equipment, or PPE, underneath garbage bags.
“Give me 20 seconds, Brianna. Let’s not sensationalize this crisis at a time where we create more anxiety or panic behavior with people,” Navarro responded. “So please, as you report this crisis, please keep in mind that to the extent that it’s done, it makes our job here harder, and it makes the health care professional jobs here harder.”
“I am not sensationalizing anything,” Keilar shot back. “I’m trafficking in facts.”
“Your government knew in the summer when it did a drill that if this happened, this would be a problem and there was a lack of preparation, which is why we have you on to talk about the supply chain,” she later said. “Right now, it looks like the capacity for the U.S. is going to be about 200,000 ventilators and what experts are saying is there could be a million needed. Are you going to be able to meet that demand?”
After Navarro blamed China for not warning the U.S. sooner and suggesting the Trump administration had inherited an antiquated system from the Obama administration to handle a pandemic of this magnitude, Keiler again interjected.
“You’re wasting everyone’s time with this. Peter, why are you even talking about this? It’s 2020. The president was elected in 2016. Can you get to a million ventilators?” she asked.