Acosta Miffed About Taking Test to Keep Task Force Safe Since ‘So Many…Can’t Get’ Tested

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During Thursday’s Situation Room ahead of the White House Coronavirus Task Force daily briefing, CNN chief White House correspondent and carnival barker Jim Acosta twice stated how irked he was with having to take a coronavirus test in order to attend the briefing “when we know so many Americans…can’t get” tested.

That was despite the clear reason for testing was so as to ensure the safety of the President, the Vice President, and members of the Coronavirus Task Force. It was the next logical step from weeks prior when reporters had their temperatures checked and a reporter at Wednesday's briefing began experiencing coronavirus-like symptoms.

 

 

While testing has been a hotly contested topic, America’s leaders should receive the utmost protection and with that comes ensuring those they come into contact with are clean. So, Acosta’s sentiment was well taken, but he first should have acknowledged the necessity of being tested.

In the 5:00 p.m. Eastern hour, Acosta told viewers that “all the reporters covering the briefing” had to “undergo a coronavirus test” and that reporters had yet to hear of any results.

Acosta moved onto his uneasiness with the test instead of explaining why these security measures were being taken: “But Wolf, the fact that we are getting a test doesn't really sit very well when we know so many Americans out there who need a test can't get one, Wolf.”

Host Wolf Blitzer obviously agreed, complimenting him for that “important point.”

In the next hour, Acosta added that all media members had to be tested, ranging from all correspondents and technicians who work with the various networks, reporters who work for various news outlets” and the fact that they hadn’t received results as of his live shot was to be taken as good news.

“And while we’re grateful to get this coronavirus test, Wolf, it makes you think about all of those Americans out there who would like the coronavirus test but can't get one,” he added.

Blitzer then asked him to talk about what the test was like:

Essentially, Wolf, it’s sort of what we’ve been hearing about from a lot of other people. They inserted a couple of swabs into both of my nostrils and it was a little bit uncomfortable, I won’t lie to you, but it was over in seconds. We’re told the results should have come back within 15 minutes to half an hour and at this point we just haven't heard whether or not they have gone through all of the test results for those who are going to be in the briefing room this evening. We assume that’s part of the reason why things are being held up….But no question about it, it’s an uneasy feeling to undergo a medical test at the White House just to cover a briefing, Wolf.

To see the relevant CNN transcript from April 9, click “expand.”

CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer
April 9, 2020
5:09 p.m. Eastern

JIM ACOSTA: The White House says the president will listen to scientists on opening the U.S. economy. The President has had no problem publicly differing with his scientists before. The president not only downplayed the pandemic in the past, he has touted treatments for the virus that have not fully embraced by the scientists, by his experts. And, Wolf, we should point out the White House is having all the reporters covering the briefing today undergo a coronavirus test. I just had mine a short while ago. They gave me this fact sheet before giving me the test. We have not gotten the results back and so the briefing for this reason I believe has been pushed to 6:00. It could be pushed later as we’re all waiting for these results to come back in. But Wolf, the fact that we are getting a test doesn't really sit very well when we know so many Americans out there who need a test can't get one, Wolf.

WOLF BLITZER: That's an important point, too.

(….)

6:07 p.m. Eastern

ACOSTA: And it's a new day in the White House Briefing Room. Earlier this afternoon, the White House Doctor’s Office asked that all correspondents and technicians who work with the various networks, reporters who work for various news outlets undergo the coronavirus test. They did this earlier this afternoon. Wolf, we have not gotten the results back yet, but we’re told no news is good news, meaning that if we are testing positive for the coronavirus, then we will be notified. And while we’re grateful to get this coronavirus test, Wolf, it makes you think about all of those Americans out there who would like the coronavirus test but can't get one, Wolf.

BLITZER: What was the test that you got? What was the test like, Jim?

ACOSTA: Essentially, Wolf, it’s sort of what we’ve been hearing about from a lot of other people. They inserted a couple of swabs into both of my nostrils and it was a little bit uncomfortable, I won’t lie to you, but it was over in seconds. We’re told the results should have come back within 15 minutes to half an hour and at this point we just haven't heard whether or not they have gone through all of the test results for those who are going to be in the briefing room this evening. We assume that’s part of the reason why things are being held up. We know that the President also in the phone this afternoon with Russian President Vladimir Putin and King Salmon, of Saudi Arabia. We’re told that’s another reason why things have been delayed. But no question about it, it’s an uneasy feeling to undergo a medical test at the White House just to cover a briefing, Wolf.

BLITZER: And over the last several days, they were just taking your temperature just to make sure you didn’t have a fever or anything, but now they’re giving you a full-scale coronavirus test.

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