CNN reporter Jim Acosta interrupted Dr. Deborah Birx on Friday as the White House coronavirus task force coordinator was discussing the World Health Organization’s handling of the pandemic.
Birx pointed out during a task force press conference that WHO has provided faulty guidance about the transmission of coronavirus, and whether countries should implement travel bans.
“I will remind you that on Feb. 3, the head of the WHO said there was no reason to ever do a travel ban,” Birx said in an extended response to a question from Daily Caller reporter Christian Datoc.
“It wasn’t until Jan. 14th that we knew there was human to human transmission. Remember,” she began, as Acosta interjected.
“Dr. Birx, the president was saying this was going to go away. It’s April, Mr. President you said it was going to go away in April,” the CNN reporter said in a contentious exchange.
The World Health Organization has come under fire over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic, which originated in China. Florida Sen. Rick Scott has called for a congressional investigation into whether the Geneva-based organization has helped the Chinese government peddle “misinformation” about how the communist regime handled the coronavirus outbreak.
President Donald Trump was widely criticized when he implemented a travel ban from China in late January to slow the spread of coronavirus to the United States.
While Birx said in her comments that human to human transmission of coronavirus was not known until Jan. 14, WHO was still citing data from China by that date to claim that there was no evidence that the virus was spread from person to person.
Other WHO assessments have created a false sense of security about the threat from the pandemic.
Beginning in late February, WHO official Bruce Aylward said there was no evidence that coronavirus was being spread by patients who showed no symptoms. The CDC said this week that as many as 25% of people infected with the virus could by asymptomatic. The high rate of asymptomatic cases makes it more difficult to contain the pandemic.