CNN anchor Chris Cuomo questioned the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) during his show Tuesday, then immediately pivoted to criticize Republican Maine Sen. Susan Collins, who also questioned the CDC.
Cuomo argued that the Republican Party was pushing a lie and that thus far Collins was not standing up to stop it. But he also said that did not mean the party was wrong to be critical of the CDC, an agency he said that also appeared to be pushing a lie. (RELATED: Chris Cuomo: Why Fact Check Democrats When ‘They Are Not Lying The Way Trump Does?’)
Cuomo began by calling out the CDC, citing a New York Times report that suggested the organization had misled the American public on the prevalence of outdoor transmission of the novel coronavirus.
“Look, facts matter. Truth matters. And that means that you don’t cover for an agency just because it’s under attack by people who are trying to push lies,” Cuomo said. “We’ve been working on the assumption that, quote, less than 10% of transmission happens outdoors. However, it is just as likely that the transmission percentage is less than 1%. Why? Why didn’t they update it? Is this about them Big Brothering us and trying to keep it safer longer? I can understand it but it’s not honest.”
Cuomo went on to say that it was one thing to err on the side of caution with public guidelines to prevent further infection, but it was another thing to lie to the public in order to push those guidelines on people.
“I always considered the CDC the gold standard,” Collins said. “I don’t anymore.”
“The CDC is not the gold standard for you anymore, senator, I understand,” Cuomo said in response Tuesday night, noting that he had always had great respect for Collins. “But you sit quiet while your party takes the gold standard and makes it a crap standard, where you’re all about pushing a lie.”
“You don’t stand up and say anything that brave about it,” Cuomo continued, arguing that Collins was likely refusing to take a strong position in an effort to keep her seat in the Senate. “I’m not accusing of you of anything craven, I’ve seen you stand up, I’ve seen you be brave, but now is the time to be counted. I don’t understand how you think you’re on the high ground when you belong to a party that wants people to believe there was never any risk. I don’t understand it. And you’re free to come on and explain it.”