News and Commentary

Joe Scarborough Says Everybody But Trump Saw Coronavirus ‘Coming In Early January.’ That’s Not True.
TV co-host Joe Scarborough and news presenter Mika Brzezinski attend 2018 Matrix Awards at Sheraton New York Times Square on April 23, 2018 in New York City.
Desiree Navarro/WireImage

On Wednesday’s “Morning Joe,” MSNBC host Joe Scarborough tried to claim the Trump administration was slow to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

While talking to oncologist and Center for American Progress senior fellow Zeke Emanuel, Scarborough lamented the claim by some that “nobody could have seen this coming,” referring to the novel coronavirus that has infected nearly 900,000 people worldwide and killed more than 40,000.

“The fact is, everybody saw this coming,” Scarborough said. “Everybody saw this coming in early January.”

Before this, Scarborough cherry-picked and distorted various statements from President Donald Trump to suggest the president was ignoring experts warning him about the coronavirus:

They saw this coming even several weeks ago. Doctors I know very well, scientists, health care professionals were saying, “Mr. President, 100,000, 200,000, 500,000 people could die from this virus if you don’t start moving.” The president didn’t want to hear it. This is, after all, a president who talked about one person dying and one person from China, but we’ve got it taken care of, it will be zero. And then soon after that in February, he was talking about, oh, we have 14, 15 people who were infected but we’ve done such a good job it’s going to go down to zero. Then, of course, he said the media was overblowing it, that their coverage was a hoax of the pandemic, that it was going to go away. And then he said that it would go away in April, the sun would come out, it would magically go away.

Before getting into the incorrect statements of Scarborough’s monologue, it should be noted that on January 27th, “Morning Joe” featured a medical expert that said Americans “don’t need to be overly concerned yet in the United States about the novel Coronavirus,” but should “keep our eyes open for the seasonal flu.” A clip of this segment was highlighted by Grabien founder Tom Elliott.

A search for “coronavirus” and MSNBC in early January brought up zero results. CNN began covering China’s “mysterious pneumonia outbreak” around January 9, though they were hardly raising an alarm back then. The same goes with NBC and ABC.

The Daily Wire first reported on the coronavirus on January 21, when China claimed a sixth person had died from the virus (due to China’s lying, it’s now unclear whether this number was accurate at the time). At the time, almost no one thought the virus would become a global pandemic, contrary to Scarborough’s claims.

A timeline compiled by the U.S. State Department showed few infections (according to probably inaccurate Chinese data) through November and December 2019 and that China was trying to squash news of the outbreak.

As to Scarborough’s other claims, he misrepresented Trump’s statements that were in line with what media outlets were reporting at the time. In hindsight, Trump was wrong, as were many, many other people, but that is how fast-moving news happens. Scarborough failed to mention Trump’s January 31 travel restrictions to and from China and instead claimed Trump called coverage of the coronavirus a hoax. Again, that is not what Trump said. The president said the Democrats’ claims that his administration wasn’t doing enough to combat the virus was the hoax.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Joe Scarborough Says Everybody But Trump Saw Coronavirus ‘Coming In Early January.’ That’s Not True.