MSNBC’s Tur Berates Trump for Handshakes, Microphone Touches

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On her 2:00 p.m. ET hour show on Monday, MSNBC anchor Katy Tur denounced President Trump for shaking hands and touching the microphone during a coronavirus press conference on Friday. The scolding came despite the fact that National Institutes of Health director Dr. Anthony Fauci rejected the notion that those minor interactions endangered anyone’s health.

“During a Rose Garden news conference on Friday, the President repeatedly shook hands and touched the microphone, not to mention the news conference he held over the weekend with officials crowded together on the briefing room dais. No social distancing there,” Tur lectured at the top of a segment focused on decrying the Trump administration’s response.

 

 

Minutes later, talking to Dr. Vivek Murthy, former U.S. Surgeon General in the Obama administration, Tur ranted:

But what we are not seeing, and this is notable to anybody who watched the news conference yesterday or the news conference on Friday, is the government leading by example. Why are they all crowded on to a small dais together? Why are they not practicing social distancing in their messaging to the American public, to show them – not just tell them – but show them that it is important? Why is the President still shaking hands and touching a microphone and then touching his face? It just seems like, how do you sell this as important when you are not practicing it yourself?

Appearing on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, Dr. Fauci told fill-in host Brianna Keilar to “get real” when she asked similar question about the presser: “The picture you showed about the microphone, let’s get real here. I mean, there are certain things that you have to do....My putting my two fingers to get the microphone down isn't that bad, so I don’t think we should make something of that.”

Here is a transcript of the March 16 MSNBC segment:

2:25 PM ET

(...)

KATY TUR: During a Rose Garden news conference on Friday, the President repeatedly shook hands and touched the microphone, not to mention the news conference he held over the weekend with officials crowded together on the briefing room dais. No social distancing there. Nor is the government functioning as a single unit. Instead of having a federalized policy, the response to the crisis, as we’ve been talking about, has been ad hoc, with governors or city mayors deciding on their own what steps to take.

(...)

2:29 PM ET

TUR: Dr. Murthy, what we’re seeing right now is not Health and Human Services director Azar take front and center stage. We’re also not seeing the CDC director take front and center stage. We’re seeing Vice President Pence and we’re seeing Dr. Anthony Fauci, I’m told by former officials that Fauci is just the most trustworthy person and that’s why they’re putting him in front on this. But what we are not seeing, and this is notable to anybody who watched the news conference yesterday or the news conference on Friday, is the government leading by example. Why are they all crowded on to a small dais together, why are they not practicing social distancing in their messaging to the American public, to show them – not just tell them – but show them that it is important? Why is the President still shaking hands and touching a microphone and then touching his face? It just seems like, how do you sell this as important when you are not practicing it yourself?

VIVEK MURTHY [FORMER U.S. SURGEON GENERAL]: You know, the reality here is that we are going to need a whole-scale change in how we interact with each other and how we live our lives. And that might sound hyperbolic, but it’s actually true.

(...)

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