A top Trump official tried to play gotcha with ‘60 Minutes’ on pandemic preparedness — but it blew up in his face

A top Trump official tried to play gotcha with ‘60 Minutes’ on pandemic preparedness — but it blew up in his face
CBS

During a recent appearance on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” Peter Navarro (one of President Donald Trump’s top economic advisers) aggressively defended the president’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and demanded to know when “60 Minutes” addressed the last two presidential administrations’ preparedness for a pandemic. And a video shows that in fact, the CBS program did exactly that.


The video opens with Navarro asserting, “Show me the ‘60 Minutes’ episode  — a  year ago, two years ago — during the Obama administration, during the Bush administration, that said, ‘Hey, a global pandemic’s coming. You gotta do X, Y and Z’…. Show me that episode. Then, you’ll have some credence in terms of attacking the Trump administration for not being prepared.” And the video then segues into “60 Minutes” reports from 2005 (when George W. Bush was president) and 2009 (when Barack Obama was president).

In the 2009 segment, “60 Minutes” can be seen warning about the threat of H1N1 and reporting, “H1N1 is a pandemic, meaning it’s a global epidemic. It’s the first flu pandemic in 41 years.”

In the 2005 segment, “60 Minutes” is seen reporting that H5N1 could “spread to every country in the world in a matter of months” — and immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci (now a key member of Trump’s coronavirus task force) is interviewed and warns, “Right now, if we had the explosion of an H5N1, we would not be prepared for that.”

The expression “the big one” is typically used by Los Angeles residents to discuss the massive earthquake they are know they are going to be hit with sooner or later, but on “60 Minutes,” the Anthony Fauci of 15 years ago uses that expression to discuss the possibility of a massive pandemic. And sure enough, “the big one” that Fauci was worried about in 2005 has arrived in the form of COVID-19.

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