CBS Rushes to Defend China from Blame, FNC Reports Intel Community Blames Lab

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No matter how the liberal media tried to spin it, China was to blame for unleashing the coronavirus on the world. But on Monday, CBS Evening News once again rushed to defend one of America’s adversaries by blaming President Trump for the coronavirus death toll in the U.S., and decrying how he was correctly blaming China for the pandemic’s devastation. Meanwhile, Fox News was reporting that U.S. intelligence agencies believed the virus came from a laboratory in Wuhan.

At the top of the segment, anchor Norah O’Donnell suggested that the only reason the Trump administration was blaming China was to shift blame for the rising death toll from themselves:

A draft government document projects the U.S. daily deaths could nearly double by June 1st. And it comes as President Trump and his secretary of state say there’s evidence a Wuhan, China represent lab is the source of the outbreak. That’s the conclusion at odds with U.S. intelligence.

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It was a suggestion echoed by anti-Trump White House correspondent Ben Tracy. “Despite the U.S. now having more than twice as many deaths than any other country, President Trump continues to tout his administration’s response to the pandemic,” he sneered. “He also continues to blame China for the virus and the rising death toll.”

While NBC Nightly News had admitted the creators of that draft report said the analysis was unfinished and not ready for publishing, CBS pounced on it and painted Trump as having lied about projected death tolls (Click “expand”):

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We’re going to lose anywhere from 75, 80, to 100,000 people.

TRACY: Mr. Trump’s calculus has changed several times in the past month.

TRUMP: Its looking like it’s headed to 50,000 or more deaths. [Transition] It looks like we’ll be at about a 60,000 mark. [Transition] We’re probably heading to 60,000, 70,000.

 

 

In reality, those numbers were changing as more data was being fed into the models. At the same time, other news outlets were falsely claiming that 240,000 dead was the “best-case scenario.”

Pivoting from the rising death toll, Tracy suggested that was why Trump was suddenly blaming China. “Under fire for his handling of the virus response, the President is now frequently pinning the blame on China for not containing it early on.” Meanwhile, CBS was one of the networks that were freaking out about the President calling it the “Chinese coronavirus” early in the crisis.

Showing how detached from reality Tracy and CBS were, ABC’s World News Tonight (via chief White House correspondent Jon Karl) reported that “The Chinese minister of State Security has reported to Chinese leaders that anti-China sentiment around the world is at its highest level since the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989.”

Tracy also misled viewers about the facts of where the virus was believed to have come from. He scoffed at comments from Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who said the virus had come from a lab. And he attempted to make it seem as though they were saying the virus was engineered. “[T]he U.S. intelligence community has not reached that conclusion. They do say the virus was not man-made,” Tracy said.

But previous public statements from the intelligence community said they were investigating whether or not it came from a lab. More specifically the Wuhan Institute of Virology. And according to a “senior intelligence official” who spoke with Fox News, most of the intelligence agencies were now of that belief.

“A senior intelligence official telling Fox News that as many as three-quarters of the 17 intelligence agencies believe coronavirus escaped because of a mistake at the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” reported chief White House correspondent John Roberts on Special Report.

The transcripts are below, click “expand” to read:

CBS Evening News
May 4, 2020
6:36:37 p.m. Eastern

NORAH O’DONNELL: Now to that second startling new report on the path of the virus. A draft government document projects the U.S. daily deaths could nearly double by June 1st. And it comes as President Trump and his secretary of state say there’s evidence a Wuhan, China represent lab is the source of the outbreak. That’s the conclusion at odds with U.S. intelligence. CBS’s Ben Tracy is at the White House tonight. Ben?

BEN TRACY: Norah. Despite the U.S. now having more than twice as many deaths than any other country, President Trump continues to tout his administration’s response to the pandemic. He also continues to blame China for the virus and the rising death toll.

[Cuts to video]

As President Trump pushes states to reopen, a draft analysis provided to FEMA by researchers shows daily deaths in the U.S. nearly doubling to 3,000 by June 1st and cases skyrocketing to 200,000 per day. The White House says its own models don’t show that, but the President is now admitting to a much higher death toll.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We’re going to lose anywhere from 75, 80, to 100,000 people.

TRACY: Mr. Trump’s calculus has changed several times in the past month.

TRUMP: Its looking like it’s headed to 50,000 or more deaths. [Transition] It looks like we’ll be at about a 60,000 mark. [Transition] We’re probably heading to 60,000, 70,000.

TRACY: Under fire for his handling of the virus response, the President is now frequently pinning the blame on China for not containing it early on.

TRUMP: They knew they had a problem. I think they were embarrassed by the problem.

TRACY: A new report from the Department of Homeland Security says “the Chinese government intentionally concealed the severity of COVID-19 from the international community in early January while it stockpiled medical supplies” such as facemasks, surgical gowns, and gloves.

TRUMP: There’s nobody ever been tough on China like I’ve been tough on China.

TRACY: President Trump is threatening China with more tariffs, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is now backing the President’s claim that the virus originated in a Chinese lab, even though the U.S. intelligence community has not reached that conclusion. They do say the virus was not man-made.

SECRETARY MIKE POMPEO: I can tell you that there is a significant amount of evidence that this came from that laboratory in Wuhan.

[Cuts to video]

TRACY: Now, Chinese state media is accusing Secretary Pompeo of “spitting poison” and they say, if he has evidence to back up his claim, he should release it. The World Health Organization said today that the U.S. has not showed it any evidence that this virus came from a lab in Wuhan. Norah.

O’DONNELL: Ben Tracy at the White House, thank you.

 

Fox News Channel’s Special Report
May 4, 2020
6:03:04 p.m. Eastern

(…)

JOHN ROBERTS: The administration, increasingly pointing fingers at China for letting the virus out. A senior intelligence official telling Fox News that as many as three-quarters of the 17 intelligence agencies believe coronavirus escaped because of a mistake at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

SECRETARY MIKE POMPEO: I can tell you there’s a significant amount of evidence that this came from that laboratory in Wuhan.

ROBERTS: China firing back at the accusations today insisting Pompeo is “insane.” But President Trump backing his secretary.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Personally, I think they made a horrible mistake and they didn’t want to admit it.

(…)

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