Tapper Blames Trump, Conservative Media for People Ignoring ‘Social Distancing’

March 18th, 2020 10:13 AM

CNN Reliable Sources host Jake Tapper lashed out in frustration on the network Tuesday evening, upon seeing footage of people in San Francisco out and about, not heeding the CDC’s recommendation to stay 6 feet away from strangers and limit time spent in the public. To CNN’s chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta, Tapper knew just who to blame for people not following health warnings: President Trump and “conservative pundits.”

Around the 8:30 pm EST mark during the network’s “Super Tuesday 2020” coverage, Tapper brought on Dr. Gupta to discuss the coronavirus pandemic. Video of San Franciscans on the pier jogging and bike riding upset the CNN host who complained this was all Trump’s fault for sending “mixed messages” even though his CNN colleagues praised the president earlier in the day, for showing great leadership this week and setting the appropriate “tone” of caution.

Tapper went on to gripe that some college students were still going to the beach for Spring break, despite warnings to socially distance themselves from others. Again, he and Gupta suggested this was because there was no “clear message” from the Trump administration, not acknowledging that people have free will and there will always be a segment of the population who does what they want regardless of what they are told:

TAPPER: Let me ask you also because we really are getting mixed messages. I say that as a member of the public as well as a member of the media because while you have President Trump yesterday and today clearly stating what the CDC is recommending, 15 days of social distancing, avoiding groups, staying six feet away from people, staying inside as much as possible, if you're old especially, staying inside as much as possible, not going to bars, not going to restaurants, not going to nightclubs. All of that is happening. Meanwhile, Arizona, Illinois, Florida had elections today.

A lot of people thought that was a bad idea. And you see pictures from Florida where there is spring break as if they're either making a teenage movie from the '80s down there. There is not the clear signal that everyone needs to abide by this. There's kind of a message of "We're telling you you need to do this, but other people are doing that and other people are doing that." You know, what is somebody supposed to think?

GUPTA: I think what the message is that a lot of people are getting is that this is no big deal. I mean we don't -- it's not really here. It's not really going to affect me.

After a commercial break, the duo continued pointing fingers at the right, this time with Tapper sounding like Brian Stelter and attacking Fox News for downplaying the virus. He touted the worst possible scenario, that “millions” could die from this, and claimed that “conservative pundits” and Fox News were still claiming this was like the flu:

There have been, by serious medical professionals in England and in the United States, projections that hundreds of thousands of Americans will die from this, if not millions, if not millions of Americans. Now, I understand there have been a lot of people giving false information out there, including President Trump although in the last couple days, he's completely been striking the right tone and talking about how serious it is. Including a lot of conservative pundits and a lot of people on a different channel, talking about how this is just like the flu. But it's not.

While Tapper blames his conservative competitors, he might want to acknowledge how his own liberal peers have politicized this virus themselves, and shown their negligence in letting Democrats’ lies about the virus, stand uncorrected. Not to mention that the media has cried wolf about President Trump for so long that it's no wonder many people may have tuned them out.