When President Trump, who spent three days at Walter Reed National Medical Center after being diagnosed with COVID-19, left the facility on Monday evening, the national media was there, waiting.
The White House had informed the press pool before Trump left the hospital that he would not be taking questions, but that didn’t stop one reporter from yelling at the sick 74-year-old president.
“Mr. President, how many of your staff are sick? Do you think you might be a super spreader, Mr. President?” Yahoo! News reporter Hunter Walker shouted as Trump walked past the array of cameras, flashing a thumb’s up sign.
Walker later bragged on Twitter: “I asked President Trump how many of his staffers are sick and whether he is ‘a superspreader.’ He ignored me and simply said, ‘Thank you very much, everybody.’”
I asked President Trump how many of his staffers are sick and whether he is "a superspreader." He ignored me and simply said, "Thank you very much everybody."
— Hunter Walker (@hunterw) October 5, 2020
The reaction was swift on social media. “Journalism today is yelling a question at the President, getting ignored, and then tweeting about it as if you’ve accomplished something. Every last one of them fighting for Twitter retweets over an unanswered, ridiculous question,” wrote one person on Twitter.
Journalism today is yelling a question at the President, getting ignored, and then tweeting about it as if you've accomplished something. Every last one of them fighting for twitter retweets over an unanswered ridiculous question. https://t.co/5DTWkBxKBQ
— Dan 🇺🇸 (@danieltobin) October 5, 2020
Steve Deace of BlazeTV was more succinct. “I asked whether you’re a super-duper communist douchebag, and you ignored me but everyone else was like ‘thank you very much for pointing it out.'”
I asked whether you’re a super duper communist douchebag, and you ignored me but everyone else was like “thank you very much for pointing it out.” https://t.co/OInGezTWVY
— Steve Deace (@SteveDeaceShow) October 6, 2020
“Imagine admitting you’re the idiot that did this,” wrote another.
“Please do everyone a favor @hunterw and seek psychiatric assistance asap. Thank you for obliging us in that regard. Sincerely, Sane Folks,” wrote another.
Others, though, lauded Walker.
“We need more journalists like you to ask him the things too many are afraid to ask,” wrote one person.
“Hunter, you’re a real patriot and a voice for the American people. The dangers you’ve had to face covering this White House of horrors are real, and I’m glad that journalists like you are fighting the good fight from the inside,” wrote another.
Hunter, you're a real patriot and a voice for the American people. The dangers you've had to face covering this White House of horrors are real, and I'm glad that journalists like you are fighting the good fight from the inside.
— Stefan Ringel (@StefanRingel) October 5, 2020
Walker has clashed with Trump before. In April, Walker falsely claimed in a question to Trump in the Oval Office: “Overall, South Korea has done five times more tests than the U.S. per capita. Why is that?”
Trump said: “I don’t think that’s true.”
Walker replied: “That is true.”
Then the president directed the question to Dr. Deborah Birx, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, corrected Walker’s false claim. “South Korea’s testing was 11 per 100,000 [citizens]. And we are at 17 per 100,000.”
Trump fired back: “Are you going to apologize, Yahoo? That’s why you’re Yahoo and nobody knows who the hell you are. You ought to get your facts right.”
Walker later wrote on Twitter that he had misread a chart and apologized about his false claim. The president, at a later event, thanked Walker for the apology, saying he appreciated it.
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