During the 9am hour of MSNBC Live, host Stephanie Ruhle brought on a favorite cable news guest as of late, Ron Klain, the former ebola czar for President Obama, former aide to Vice President Biden, and now an adviser to Biden’s presidential campaign, to trash this administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. Ruhle repeatedly compared the Obama administration’s response to the 2014 ebola outbreak, and invited Klain to boast about how he would’ve handled the coronavirus crisis better than President Trump.
After a short segment suggesting Trump was to blame for a man dying because he drank aquarium cleaner, Ruhle brought on Klain. She first asked him to explain why Trump was wrong about getting people back to work sooner than later. She then indulged in a liberal fantasy that Biden was president now and Klain was back in power, asking what he would do to combat the virus spread:
“If you could enter the Trump administration right now, what steps would you take today to combat the spread?” she asked.
Klain bemoaned the slow rollout of testing kits, along with repeating Democrat arguments that President Trump needed to invoke the Defense Production Act right away. Ruhle again gave the Democrat operative a platform to boast about the former administration’s handling of outbreaks:
I realize this is a very divided time, more divided than where we were during the ebola crisis. This has been years of hyperpartisanship. But over the last few days we’re hearing more and more governors and mayors blasting the administration. The administration telling those governors to do their own job. Tell me what was it like during the ebola crisis as you had to deal with those state lawmakers?
If MSNBC wanted to be taken seriously, they should’ve brought on former Obama officials to grill them on their administration’s response to the H1N1 “swine” flu pandemic of 2009. The CDC estimates that as many as 86 million people contracted that flu strain and killed between 8-17,000 people in the United States over a year-long period. By contrast, there were only a few cases of ebola in the United States, it wasn’t a respiratory illness, and no one who contracted it here died from it. It’s easy to make the former administration look good and trash this one, when you are comparing apples to oranges.
Despite the softball question, Klain took the focus off Biden and Obama to trash Trump instead. He also rejected Ruhle’s vague blame of both sides playing partisan politics on the coronavirus relief bill. Instead he claimed that the reality of the situation was everyone vs. Donald Trump:
…[T]he partisan divide or the divide really is between kind of everyone versus Donald Trump. And that’s not about Democrats versus Republicans. That’s about the people who are dealing with this on the front line and a president who has consistently tried to downplay this, tried to make it go away. Tried to pretend it’s not a problem. What we’re really seeing is ironically Democrats and Republicans coming together in the trenches to fight this disease while Trump still seems to be out to lunch about it.
Ruhle wrapped up the interview after this.
March 24, 2020 3:00 pm