On Sunday, Jake Tapper had assistant secretary of Health and Human Services Adm. Brett Giroir on his show to talk about Covid testing. Giroir is the testing “czar” for the coronavirus task force.
Tapper started out absolutely KNOWING that testing isn’t being done, not enough, not well enough, and that it’s Trump’s fault, and he was ready to make this government goon answer for that.
But when the government goon actually had an answer, Jake got mad. So he changed the parameters. And when there was still a terrific answer, Jake changed them again. And when that didn’t work he accused Giroir of being afraid of Trump, and said Trump is personally preventing more testing and they’re all too chicken to bring it up.
And when Giroir smacked THAT down it was all “JAKE SMASH”. Read the transcript below, with blow-by-blow.
He concedes Trump used the Defense Production Act, and then he’s like “but still what about more using of it?”
“There seems to be this reluctance to push the president to do what he needs to do to get the testing up to speed. I know that he’s under the misguided impression that more testing is bad and makes him look bad. Which as you know is completely false. And I’m wondering if you and others are just afraid to do this because you don’t want to upset him. Afraid to ask him to do what he needs to do to invoke the DPA to force the federal labs to get up to speed to where we need to be so that we can isolate the virus as you know”.
“When you say people who need a test can get a test, there’s a huge percentage of people who have the coronavirus who are asymptomatic and they quote/unquote don’t need to be tested according to the standard but it needs to be much more widespread the testing to see people who are carriers who don’t have symptoms. That’s the point.”
“Are you afraid to bring this up to president Trump because it will upset him?” said Tapper, getting his quote to be used in every headline for the rest of the day in.
Then Giroir dropped the hammer: “So, Jake, there’s about six different things that you said in there and let me unpack it a little bit,” he said, in an awesome intro to the hammer.
“Everyone in the administration understands the importance of testing. Nobody in the task force is afraid to bring up anything to the vice president or the vice president. Every time I met with the president he is listening to the data, assesses that, he understands it. I meet with the vice president almost every single day. No one is trying to stop testing in this country. No one has ever told me to do that. We want more, better, quicker. So let me just put that to rest right there.”
“Secondly, we look for every opportunity to invoke the DPA. Now, the DPA isn’t a magic tool. It doesn’t violate the laws of physics. You can’t create something out of nothing,” he said.
“Most companies do not need DPA on them because they’re highly motivated to stop the pandemic,” he continued.
As he continued to provide his devastating answer, ruffled Jake tried to grab bag the oomph with a desperate “It’s not enough” interjection.
“Of course it’s enough!” said Giroir. “Tell me one thing we should be doing with any of these private labs that we’re not doing or they’re not doing on their own.”
“I talk to hundreds of people every week, the Rockefeller Foundation, really smart people,” (ie. not YOU Jake) “We have a national implementation for testing that we’re going to be getting together this week. I talk to ACLA, APLU, universities, private labs, hospitals, you name it. We’re getting input on a daily basis. If there’s a stone to be turned, that is left unturned you tell me what it is but from my vantage point, we’ve invoked all the authority.”
“I just told you,” smug Jake smugly interrupted with the air of superior knowledge while chuckling at the guy who talks to the experts and scientists and is one. He repeated his new goalpost that even though they’re doing a ton of stuff they are definitely evil because they haven’t forced labs to hire additional workers instantly out of thin air, and also got a fact wrong about Veterinary clinics in an attempted burn on Giroir, who stomped that mess out right away too.
After Giroir corrected Jake on his facile misunderstanding of the point about veterinary clinics, the now fully wounded and grouchy temper Jake responded by saying “No one thinks testing is up to speed where it needs to be.”
The famous “no one thinks”, which is sort of like “some say” but even dumber. But Jake wasn’t done being wrong yet.
“You have spent this interview talking about how great and perfect everything is,” he said, incorrectly as the transcript will show.
“I started out by saying that we are never going to be happy with testing until we get turnaround times within 24 hours, and I would be happy with point-of-care testing everywhere. We are not there yet,” said Adm. Giroir. “We are doing everything we can to do that.”
“What can we do? We can test everybody in a hospital within 24 hours so they can get the new treatments we developed. We are point-of-care testing in nursing homes or prioritizing because that’s where 50% of the mortality are. We’re supplying the public health laboratories. I work with ACLA every single day. I call their CEOs, those are the big labs,” he said, devastatingly.
“So look, I said we need to continually improve our ecosystem. We started from zero, and that is the truth. There was not a swab in the stockpile, there was not a testing strategy in the stockpile. That’s not this administration, that’s multiple administrations. We have increased it 140 fold and I’m gonna do everything I can every single day to improve that.”
“If you have a specific suggestion, and I answered what you said, we’re happy to talk about it. There’s no barrier here. The president wants this, the vice president wants this, everyone on the task force.”