CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta was called a hypocrite by conservative critics after he declared that President Trump’s Oval Office address on the coronavirus crisis could be seen as “smacking of xenophobia,” as both he and his network have also used terms labeling the virus's origin.
The liberal CNN went live to Acosta immediately after Trump’s comments about the pandemic, which included several newsworthy comments such as implementing a temporary European travel ban to help mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.
But Acosta had an anti-Trump takeaway.
“The president referred to the coronavirus as a ‘foreign virus,’ that I think was interesting because, I was talking to sources earlier this evening, one of the points that the president wanted to make tonight, wanted to get across to Americans, is that this virus did not start here, but that they’re dealing it,” Acosta said. “Now, why the president would go as far to describe it as a foreign virus, that is something we’ll also be asking questions about.”
Acosta then said Trump is "going to come across to a lot of Americans as smacking of xenophobia" too because he said the coronavirus came from a foreign source.
Town Hall senior writer Julio Rosas captured the clip of Acosta and shared in on Twitter, where many users accused the CNN reporter of hypocrisy. Some critics were quick to point out that Acosta and CNN have both frequently reported that the coronavirus started in Wuhan, China.
CNN published a story in January headlined, “Disease detectives hunting down more information about 'super spreader' of Wuhan coronavirus,” in which the network’s senior medical correspondent used the word “Wuhan” a dozen times.
Acosta himself referred to it as the “Wuhan coronavirus” as recently as January 23.
GOP chairwoman Ronna McDaniel asked, “Setting aside that their own network spent weeks referring to it as the ‘Wuhan virus,’ how can that seriously be any objective reporter’s big takeaway?”
“Meanwhile, back in reality, it was important to note where the Chinese coronavirus/Wuhan virus came from because China had an ongoing propaganda campaign to blame the virus on the U.S. Their refusal to tell the [truth] in that moment so they could further smear the President meant that Acosta and [CNN’s Chris] Cuomo were playing into China hands,” NewsBuster’s Nicholas Fondacaro wrote. “This is CNN.”
Others took to Twitter to mock the CNN reporter:
Earlier on Wednesday, Trump dismissed Acosta as “fake news” and the president’s reelection campaign filed a lawsuit last week accusing CNN of knowingly publishing false statements about collusion with Russia.