“The View” hosts Joy Behar and Sunny Hostin made several attempts Friday to bait Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham into blaming President Donald Trump for the federal government’s response to coronavirus.
Behar began by asking Graham to lay out what he thought the administration had done right — but not without first throwing a barb at the president. (RELATED: ‘Lindsey Graham Should Be Ashamed Of Himself’: Whoopi Goldberg Lashes Out Over Criticism Of Coronavirus Bill)
“Here’s my question. Trump has a massive ego, and he rated himself a ten,” Behar began. “Name everything he’s done right. Name three things he’s done right, and then I want to hear three things he’s done wrong.”
“The first thing he did, which I think was January 31st, stopped travel from China. The Chinese are the bad guy here if you are looking for a bad guy,” Graham replied. “I don’t want to look for it, but the China travel ban probably saved us a lot of heartache, and he eventually imposed it on Europe, and I think he’s followed the advice of Dr. Fauci and Birx. On March 13th, he declared a national emergency and imposed the guidelines we have today. I think those were three things that have flattened the curve and kept the exposure in the United States down.”
“On what we need to do better, I think the key to me is testing,” he continued. “I can’t really blame the president, but we are struggling with testing on a large scale. You really can’t go back to work until we have more tests that shows who has it and who doesn’t, and we’re beginning to turn the corner on that.
Hostin then jumped in, saying she believed Trump should be blamed and claiming that the Trump administration had “lost about 70 days in the coronavirus battle by downplaying the threats.” (RELATED: Sunny Hostin Tries To Bait Mark Cuban — He Refuses To Throw Trump ‘Under The Bus’)
“I think he’s done a good job,” Graham repeated, again turning the focus back to the bad information that had come out of China in the early days of the pandemic. “I blame China. The person you left out here is the Chinese system, not a person, but this virus came out of China. It didn’t come out of the United States. The Chinese lied to the world about the nature of the virus.”
Graham went on to agree with Hostin that the U.S. had lost time in dealing with the virus, but once again suggested that the blame rested in the fact that everyone — experts included — were making decisions based on bad information coming from the Chinese government.
“Here’s what Dr. Fauci said on February the 29th. I think most of us trust him. At least I do,” Graham continued. “So he was asked, this is a Saturday morning February 29th, he’s on ‘The TODAY Show.’ ‘People want to go to malls. They want to go to movies. They want to go to gyms. Should we change our habits?’ And Dr. Fauci said, ‘No. Right now at this moment, there is no reason to change anything you’re doing day by day. The risk is low, but it could get greater over time.’ So on February the 29th, he felt like it was okay to go to a movie or a gym. So I would rather look forward than backwards.”
Hostin tried once more to turn the pointing finger back to Trump, saying that coronavirus in New York had been traced to Europe and arguing that the president’s ban on travel from China was ineffective.
Graham responded by saying that Trump closed off travel from Europe a short time later that the virus had only come to Europe by way of China in the first place.