CNN’s Blitzer, Guests Urge Return to Lockdowns, Social-Distance Shaming (But Not Protests)

June 11th, 2020 4:32 PM

This week, CNN made the pivot from openly encouraging nationwide, social distance-free Black Lives Matter protests to where they had been for months prior, which was shaming anyone who dared to unlock their doors, leave their homes, and attend in-person gatherings (unless it’s a party approved protest, of course).

Wednesday’s The Situation Room served an encapsulation with over eight minutes of coronavirus coverage that blamed governors for reopening, people for going to the beach, and leaving their homes for a spike in cases while, again, not a peep about protesters.



Host Wolf Blitzer led the way, lobbying for a return to draconian, indefinite lockdowns, fretting that the rising cases and Harvard projection of another 100,000 deaths by September were “so, so, so disturbing,” “very disturbing,” “grim,” and a sign that a lot of people out there apparently think it's over.” Of course, Blitzer had nothing for the protests.

In the 5:00 p.m. Eastern hour, Blitzer went from touting the massive protests to complaining to correspondent Nick Watt that Harvard’s claim was “a grim new projection.” Watt agreed and continued the lecturing (click “expand”):

WATT: This morning, Miami's beaches reopened. In New Jersey, up to 100 people can now gather outdoors and this weekend, NASCAR will allow some fans back in the stands. Nationally, our daily new case count is falling but is there devil in the detail? 

GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): If you're going to get into trouble, you’ll see it in the number. You’ll see them starting to increase. [SCREEN WIPE] And as we sit here today, states are getting into trouble. 

WATT: Hospitalizations are up in at least a dozen states since Memorial Day, and in 19 states the average daily new case count is rising as is concern that this coronavirus is making a comeback. 

DR. ASHISH JHA: And it worries me because there’s no obvious way to stop it without shutting down or without really aggressively increasing our testing capacity. 

WATT: Arizona's average daily case count has doubled in just the past ten days. Hospitals across the state now being told if they haven't already to “fully activate your facility emergency plan”…In North Carolina, there are now people in the hospital with COVID-19 that any time since this pandemic began. 


WATT: Now, a sliver of good news. Major League Soccer say they will be back July 8th, but some worrying news from college campuses where athletes have been returning these past couple of weeks. Arkansas State says seven athletes now tested positive for the coronavirus. University of Central Florida has three positive football players and Texas Tech has an unknown number of people on the men's basketball who have also now tested positive. Wolf? 

BLITZER: That's very disturbing indeed. Nick Watt in L.A. for us. And we're going to have a lot more. Stay with us. We're going to be following what's ahead for the United States as the coronavirus cases continue to rise, and states continue to keep on reopening. 

Huh. Nothing about the tens of thousands of protesters in American cities, large and small, disobeying many (if not all) of the demands CNN had leveled for months. And on NASCAR, Watt misled views (as national correspondent Erica Hill would in the next hour) because this weekend’s Cup race at Homestead-Miami Speedway will feature only 1,000 invited South Florida servicemembers spaced out over the track’s 46,000 seats.

In the next segment, Blitzer brought back Dr. Leana Wen for more fear-mongering and, as NewsBusters has previously documented, he refused to note her former post running Planned Parenthood.

Blitzer invoked the 100,000 deaths as “clearly a shocking number” to then shamed Americans for “continuing to reopen big time.” Wen concurred, making no mention of the protests and instead of attacking governors for “re-opening despite seeing an increase in the number of cases” and making the next few months “worse.”

Next came Blitzer’s lobbying for America to return to lockdowns due to some esoteric “people out there”:

[A] lot of people out there apparently think it's over. It's clearly not over by any means. As you say, it's probably going to get a whole lot worse. 19 states, Leana, are actually seeing their number of cases go up right now and since Memorial Day weekend, hospitalizations are up in at least a dozen states and the daily death toll is still very high, so do parts of the country need to do a 180 right now, reimplement some of those safety measures that we saw originally in the form of lockdowns?

The next hour wasn’t any better. Hill trumpeted “[s]obering new data about coronavirus-related hospitalizations, up in at least a dozen states since Memorial Day weekend” with “overall trends alarming health officials.”

Predictably, she pinned the blame on southern states for being “among the first to reopen” while “much of the Northeast seeing a decline.” In other words, CNN continues to worship at the feet of Fredo’s brother.

Blitzer and Hill concluded with more hyperbole (click “expand”):

HILL: Face coverings and social distancing likely here to stay, as the nation's top infectious disease expert warns the old normal won't be back anytime soon.

DR. ASHISH JHA: I understand people are willing to live alongside this virus. It means between 800 and a thousand Americans die every single day and we’re going to get another 900,000 deaths by September, so that’s a catastrophic cost. 

HILL: You think about where we are today talking about another hundred thousand deaths by September. We heard from the governor of Mississippi today who said while he wants COVID to be over the data says that it's not. That being said we're seeing more and more reopenings. Los Angeles County just announcing today that music, film, and TV production resume on Friday obviously with restrictions and safety protocols, Wolf, but again as more things reopen, there are increasing warnings from experts. 

BLITZER: So, so, so disturbing. Erica Hill, thank you very much for that update and just ahead, I'll speak with the doctor, Ashish Jha, you just saw him right there. There he is. We'll talk about his startling prediction potentially another 100,000 U.S. coronavirus deaths by September. 

Speaking of Jha, he told Blitzer in the next block he was “really sorry to have to share such news” and was “worried” about the future, but said nothing of the thousands disobeying lockdown measures to protest.

As he did earlier, Blitzer blamed governors and Memorial Day festivities for the potential explosion:

As you know, coronavirus hospitalizations, they're up in at least a dozen states. Health officials have feared we would see spikes following the Memorial Day activity. It takes a week or two incubation to see those results. Do you fear we're starting to see the negative effect of relaxed restrictions around the country right now? 

And yet, CNN genuinely wants viewers to not believe their lying eyes and ears when it came to this blatant double standard. In other words, they see Americans as this stupid.