NBC LIES: Claims Trump Called Virus a ‘Hoax,’ Took a Death to Stop Him

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The truth has no place on NBC News. During NBC’s Sunday Today, host Willie Geist continued to push the long-debunked accusation that President Trump called the deadly coronavirus (COVID-19) a “hoax” at a Friday campaign rally in South Carolina. On top of that, Geist suggested it took the first death of an American in the U.S. to get the President to cut it out and take the situation seriously.

“President Trump, meanwhile, held a rare Saturday news conference to give another update on coronavirus. He was pressed about his comments at a rally Friday night where he called coronavirus a Democratic hoax against his presidency,” Geist lied at the top of the segment.

Geist’s false accusation was actually the reverse of what the network was saying as recently as the previous evening. According to NBC White House correspondent Kelly O’Donnell, during Saturday’s NBC Nightly News, “But here, the President did not repeat his controversial comment at a rally Friday, accusing Democrats of politicizing coronavirus.” O’Donnell was reporting on how Trump addressed COVID-19 at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

Listening to what the President said on Friday, in context, it was clear he was talking about how Democrats were trying to stoke fear with false claims the administration was not doing much to combat the virus. But that didn’t stop NBC correspondent Hans Nichols from falsely suggesting Trump tried to spill his comments during a Saturday press conference:

 

 

President Trump was pressed to clarify his Friday night comments when he called concerns about coronavirus the Democrats' new hoax, suggesting that Democrats were inflating the threat for political advantage. Now, in that surprise press conference yesterday, the President tried to explain that the hoax he was referencing had nothing to do with the very real public health risk.

A few minutes later, Geist was speaking with NBC political director and moderator of Meet the Press, Chuck Todd about Trump’s supposed change in how serious he was taking the virus. According to Todd, it took the death of an American to get him to change his tone.

I do think something changed when we had the first American death. I mean, you saw the President's tone changed a lot yesterday afternoon,” Todd asserted. “I do think the attitude inside that White House has completely changed since the death … and I could feel it in the sit-down I had with the Vice President, I think that's changed their mindset a bit.

Geist concluded their conversation with the blatant charge that it was a “shame that it took a death to get them there.”

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

NBC’s Sunday Today
March 1, 2020
8:05:08 a.m. Eastern

WILLIE GEIST: President Trump, meanwhile, held a rare Saturday news conference to give another update on coronavirus. He was pressed about his comments at a rally Friday night where he called coronavirus a Democratic hoax against his presidency. NBC's Hans Nichols is at the White House with more. Hans, good morning.

HANS NICHOLS: Good morning, Willie. President Trump was pressed to clarify his Friday night comments when he called concerns about coronavirus the Democrats' new hoax, suggesting that Democrats were inflating the threat for political advantage.

Now, in that surprise press conference yesterday, the President tried to explain that the hoax he was referencing had nothing to do with the very real public health risk.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I'm not talking about what's happening here. I'm talking what they're doing. That's the hoax. That's just a continuation of the hoax. Whether it's the impeachment hoax or the Russia, Russia, Russia hoax. This is what I'm talking about. Certainly, not referring to this. How could anybody refer to this? This is very serious.

NICHOLS: The administration has issued new travel warnings for parts of Italy and South Korea, in addition to restrictions already in place for Iran and China.

While President Trump did offer condolences to the family of the Washington State resident, the first American to die from the virus, the President's team called for calm and warned against panic. His Basic message: if you are healthy and get the virus, you'll likely be fine, adding, some have already have already recovered from it.

The President will meet with executives from pharmaceutical companies tomorrow to try to head off a potential outbreak. Willie.

GEIST: Hans Nichols, at the White House. Hans, thank you very much.

(…)

8:10:36 a.m. Eastern

GEIST: Let's talk about President Trump, Chuck. He congratulated, in his own backhanded way, Joe Biden last night. But he’s got bigger problems talking about the coronavirus. At a rally Friday night, he called the media's coverage of it a hoax. And then he tried to instill calm at another briefing yesterday, talking about the way we are handling -- the country is handling this.

How is this strategy going for him where he's trying to have it both ways sort of as candidate Donald Trump at the rally firing up the base and President Donald Trump in that briefing room?

CHUCK TODD: Well, it – you know – I do think something changed when we had the first American death. I mean, you saw the President's tone changed a lot yesterday afternoon. And I thought it was notable. He goes over to CPAC, where you would assume he could really, you know, channel his – his sort of – his rally Trump campaigner, and he backed off of the coronavirus attacks. He didn't do the same business that he did Friday night.

I do think the attitude inside that White House has completely changed since the death of this -- of the first coronavirus victim here in the United States, without no known connection overseas. I'll be curious to see how long that lasts, but I detected just within the last 24 hours, and I could feel it in the sit-down I had with the Vice President, I think that's changed their mindset a bit.

GEIST: Shame that it took a death to get them there.

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