Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro criticized the mainstream media Tuesday for jumping to false conclusions after peppering President Trump with questions over whether he had been personally tested for the coronavirus.
“Yesterday, there were headlines suggesting that President Trump had run out of the room when asked if he had come down with coronavirus or if he had been tested with coronavirus … that was absolutely untrue,” Shapiro said on “The Ben Shapiro Show,” Tuesday.
Trump joined Vice President Mike Pence at Monday’s White House briefing to provide updates on his administration’s efforts to contain the deadly outbreak. As the president exited the briefing room, reporters began to shout questions about whether he had been personally tested for the virus, which Trump ignored. His silent exit fueled a flurry of speculation over the president’s health from many mainstream media outlets.
Trump’s personal health came under question after a recent indirect encounter with an attendee at last month’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) who later tested positive for the virus.
On Sunday, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas revealed that he had directly interacted with the infected attendee, and planned to stay at home until two weeks have passed since the encounter.
On Monday, Reps. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., Doug Collins, R-Ga., and Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., revealed that they too had interacted with the attendee at the conference, and immediately began self-quarantining themselves.
TWO GOP REPS SELF-QUARANTINE AFTER CONTACT WITH CORONAVIRUS PATIENT
Hours before the news briefing Monday, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham insisted President Trump was in great health and was taking the proper precautions, calling him “quite the hand-washer.”
“I will tell you what, with our president, this man who doesn’t sleep and who I have seen work 15, 16 hours a day every day, I have no problem thinking that he is going to be just fine and just healthy,” she told “Fox & Friends,” adding, “He is not concerned about this at all.”
“If you think the President of the United States’ health is not being monitored, you’re out of your mind.”
Shapiro said the false speculations represent the media’s “alarmist attitude” surrounding the coronavirus and warned against their “irresponsible” reporting on the outbreak.
“First of all, if you think the President of the United States’ health is not being monitored, you’re out of your mind,” Shapiro said.
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“He’s the President of the United States … of course, he probably has been tested for coronavirus if he came in contact with anyone who had it,” Shapiro added, “but it is just indicative of the press coverage … that the headline that came out of this … is that Trump is running away from questions as though the top levels of the U.S. government had been infected.”
On Tuesday, Trump told reporters he “sees no reason” to undergo testing but would be willing to, saying, “I guess it’s not a big deal to get tested and it’s something I would do.”