Throughout Friday’s early hours, CNNers repeatedly expressed best wishes to President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump after having tested positive for the coronavirus. But behind those best wishes, CNN not only levied their usual, poisonous rhetoric, but plenty of subliminal levels of apocalyptic brainstorming, gloating, and calls for a return to global lockdowns.
Perhaps worst of all, it led off CNN analyst and former Obama flack Sam Vinograd claiming the President’s diagnosis could “be the most dangerous moment that the U.S. government has ever faced.” No word on why the Civil War, Cuban Missile Crisis, four presidential assassinations, September 11, 2001, or two World Wars tested America and her government less.
This author kept up through the night and combed the first 90 minutes of CNN Tonight after the President’s tweet to come up with the most ghoulish moments. Below is both a video providing but a sampling of the hot takes and then a Notable Quotables-style blog.
This ‘May Be the Most Dangerous Moment’ in U.S. Government History
“I said hours ago this was a code red moment for the U.S. government before we had these diagnoses from FLOTUS and POTUS. At this point, knowing that the President is sick and the pandemic is affecting personnel at the White House, this may be the most dangerous moment that the U.S. government has ever faced. The President is suffering from a deadly virus. It is something that we should be watching on an episode of Homeland. The President of the United States is suffering from a deadly virus. He has to quarantine. He’s not able to fully perform his – his duties as commander-in-chief…The U.S. government is incredibly vulnerable at this moment. We do not have a full team on deck and that means there are major gaps in our national security coverage based on this diagnosis.”
– Vinograd, 1:06 a.m. Eastern.
Trump Isn’t ‘Incapacitated’ Now, But Who Knows? Maybe Later!
“[T]he President’s doctor is saying, well, the President’s going to carry out his duties without disruption while recovering. Well, we don’t know that, for sure, yet. We’ll have to see, you know, how the President feels. If that is, indeed, part of the protocol of the government because, you know, at some point, the Vice President’s supposed to take over if the President can’t carry out his duties, in any way, or if is incapacitated. I’m not sure if the President will be incapacitated. It seems from the doctor’s note, memorandum, that it indicates the President is feeling okay.
– CNN Tonight host Don Lemon, 1:54 a.m. Eastern.
Could ‘Obese’ Trump Suffer More From COVID?
Lemon: “He’s 74 years old. He is obese. How great of a risk of someone of his age and his – with his health background?”
Chief medical analyst Dr. Sanjay Gupta: “Well, this is one of the great concerns and we’re obviously all hoping he and the First Lady have not developed much in the way of symptoms and statistically still, the statistics are on people’s side even at that age. But this is a great concern. He’s a vulnerable person because of his age, because of preexisting conditions. And this is the sort of thing that you know medical team is going to have to be watching out for and see if he does have symptoms and how quickly any symptoms might – might start to — to occur and then what to do about it. And so, it’s tough to put in an exact number about it. We do know of course who’s going to be more vulnerable and who is not. And I don’t know, Don, just sort of read that memorandum from Dr. Conley. It doesn’t sound like President Trump has had any symptoms.”
– Conversation about Trump’s health, 1:23 a.m. Eastern.
Could Trump End Up in the ICU Like Boris?
“White House aides, who feel pressure to lie on behalf of the President, they should feel more pressure, now, from all of us in the public, to tell the public the truth in the coming days and weeks. You know, Boris Johnson, other world leaders, have been sick with COVID. Boris Johnson was in his 50s. He ended up in the ICU. He said, ‘it could have gone either way.’ I think the point there is that we shouldn’t assume the best or the worst. We don’t know. As Sanjay said, the odds are in the President’s favor, but there are other world leaders that have suffered mightily as a result of this disease.”
– Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter, 2:03 a.m. Eastern.
“[T]hey’ve got to disclose this, which they did. They have got to continue to be fully transparent, in terms of his symptoms and we’ll see. You know, we saw what happens with Boris Johnson in the U.K. after he contracted the disease. We’ll have to see what happens with the President. In terms of his mindset, not just the physical, sort of, course, that this disease may or may not take for him.”
– Gupta, 2:16 a.m. Eastern.
Bernstein Salivates at Chance to Let ‘Scientists…Be Listened to,’ Return to Lockdowns
“[T]here’s now a dividing line, really in how we approach COVID. Are we finally now going to let the science prevail? Is the President going to say it’s time for scientists to be listened to, including by myself? It – we have a stark landscape in front of us and also, let’s take a look also at the effectiveness on the rest of the world because it is going to be noticed. There are movements in Great Britain — in the U.K. right now, open up we don’t want to be locked down anymore. This is going on in other places too. It is very hard to imagine that after this that there is not going to be around the world, another look at a cavalier approach that we must start to do what the scientists have told us, what epidemiologists told us. This is DEFCON-1 in terms of the health of the people of the United States in terms of our political health, in terms of our stability in this country. We now have a defining moment in which this presidency has changed irrevocable, in which our politics have changed irrevocably.”
– Political analyst Carl Bernstein, 1:43 a.m. Eastern.
Gupta, Lemon Gloat About Hydroxychloroquine Not Saving Trump
Lemon: “Sanjay, you mentioned hydroxychloroquine. The President took it. It – it did not work. Listen. I don’t mean to – that in a – you know, I’m not being facetious, but it did not. It obviously does not work and did not work for him.”
Gupta: “Yeah. I mean, you know, it did not and that’s exactly what the evidence would’ve suggested. I mean, you know, people aren’t just making this stuff up. There was a theory on this medication, maybe, it’ll work, based on what we know of this medication.”
– Conversation about Trump’s health, 2:14 a.m. Eastern.
Ghouls: CNNers Float Hypothetical Barrett Quarantine Hindering Confirmation
“[Mark Meadows has] also been on Capitol Hill with the Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett and I think we have a picture to show you just how many levels of power are going to be involved in this and may potentially have to quarantine. There you see it. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on the right. The Supreme Court nominee in the center. And then, on the left, you see the President’s three, top aides. The Vice President Mike Pence, Mark Meadows, and the guy on the left in the red tie is the White House counsel, Pat Cipollone. These are all massive power players that have all been around the President and Hope Hicks…so the question of what kind of power in Washington is going to look like over the next few weeks as we figure out how severe the President’s diagnosis is going to be, and how widespread this really is among his circle is just to be determined.”
– White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins, 1:57 a.m. Eastern.
In a Fox interview, Dr. Atlas stated that the President was doing well and had good chances of coming through this with mild symptoms. Chris Wallace stated that, with all due respect, Dr. Atlas is not an epidemiologist. Well, Trump doesn’t have an epidemic; he has a virus and almost any doctor can evaluate the effects.
I predict in less than a week, Trump will be over this, without any serious effects. Melania will suffer even less.