A Yahoo News reporter was on the receiving end of a verbal tongue-lashing when he tried to corner the President with false data about coronavirus testing.
President Donald Trump and Dr. Deborah Birx held a joint news conference alongside Florida governor Ron DeSantis when the reporter, Hunter Walker, decided to get confrontational.
“Overall, South Korea has done five times more tests than the U.S. per capita,” Walker asked. “Why is that?”
But it wasn’t true …
Far More Testing
President Trump has consistently and rightly bragged about the number of tests that have been conducted by the United States.
“We are doing far more, and better, testing than any other country in the world, and yet the media does nothing but complain,” Trump tweeted on Tuesday.
Walker seems to have proven him correct with the question.
President @realDonaldTrump and Dr. Deborah Birx corrected fake news today from a Yahoo that works for Yahoo. Trump hammers the reporter and then a smiling Dr. Birx adds “Just check it again”. 😂 pic.twitter.com/XSZKIC4FC6
— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) April 28, 2020
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Check Your Numbers
After President Trump replied, “I don’t think that’s true” to Walker’s assertion, the Yahoo reporter doubles down.
“That is true,” he insisted, “and you said this morning that, the White House said the U.S. passes South Korea in virus testing.”
Trump repeated his assertion that what was being presented was not true, then turned the floor over to Dr. Birx.
“So if you look at every single state that had an outbreak their testing is greater than anywhere in the world, in the four per forty-two per thousand range,” she countered.
Walker, not about to let go of his potential gotcha question, continued arguing that his math was correct, prompting Birx to advise him to “check it again.”
Birx would later add, “To our Yahoo gentleman, I just want to make it clear that South Korea’s testing was 11 per 100,000 and we’re at 17 per 100,000.”
Yahoo reporter apologizes to President Trump after making false coronavirus test claim in Oval Office meeting https://t.co/VYnIvilCLL
— Trump War Room – Text TRUMP to 88022 (@TrumpWarRoom) April 28, 2020
Trump Was Ticked
Birx’s comments led President Trump to respond angrily to the Yahoo New reporter.
“Are you going to apologize Yahoo?” he asked. “That’s why you’re ‘Yahoo’ and nobody knows who the hell you are. Nobody knows who you are, including me.”
Trump swiftly dismissed Walker after that, moving onto other questions.
Walker took to social media to later offer an apology, though he couched it with some quantifying statements.
We have passed South Korea in the number of tests conducted per capita. I misread the mobile version of this chart and am sorry about that @realDonaldTrump . Our infection rate is far higher though as I noted.
— Hunter Walker (@hunterw) April 28, 2020
Walker insists he simply misread the chart.
If you’re going to challenge the President of the United States and a team of experts, and don’t have the math skills yourself, why not check with your own expert before embarrassing yourself on a national stage?
Answer: Because the temptation to make the President look bad in front of his media peers was too tempting.
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