Seattle-based National Public Radio affiliate KUOW is refusing to air live any future White House Coronavirus Task Force briefings because of concerns that they contain bogus information.
"KUOW is monitoring White House briefings for the latest news on the coronavirus — and we will continue to share all news relevant to Washington State with our listeners," tweeted station management. "However, we will not be airing the briefings live due to a pattern of false or misleading information provided that cannot be fact checked in real time."
The decision sparked an intense exchange on Twitter between people who support the station and those who call it censorship. However, KUOW is not alone. Cable news networks CNN and MSNBC made the decision to end coverage of the Monday coronavirus briefing from the White House after carrying it live for one hour. Both said leaving the briefing before it had ended was an editorial decision.
When it comes to what he says during the briefing, President Trump has been chastised by critics who say his stated goal of lifting of social distancing guidelines, perhaps by Easter, is contrary to what public health professionals are advising. At one point the president also tweeted, "WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF."
The Easter Sunday date was reportedly an idea floated during a conference call among desperate business leaders. It is also seen by some as a way of appealing to Evangelical Christians who remain among Trump's most loyal supporters.
"You'll have packed churches all over our country. I think it would be a beautiful time," the president said during a FOX News town hall event. He added, "We will assess at that time and give it more time if we need a little more time."
Republican activist and Trump ally Ralph Reed noted that he likes the idea of an Easter target date for easing coronavirus restrictions, but he told the Associated Press taking such action shouldn't be taken if it's a bad idea from a public health standpoint.