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Tipsheet

Mainstream Media Reporters Spread Trump Quote Missing Vital Context About Wuhan Virus Response

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Reporters from mainstream media outlets pushed a quote without providing vital context to how the federal government is helping the states while posting a New York Times story about President Trump's teleconference meeting with state governors and how they can respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, commonly known as the Wuhan virus or Chinese coronavirus.

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The issue was how one quote made it seem like Trump was telling state governors to fend for themselves to get respirators and ventilators for severe cases of COVID-19. Many of the reporters left out the second half of Trump's quote, where he stated, "We will be backing you, but try getting it yourselves. Point of sales, much better, much more direct if you can get it yourself."

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Trump's point was that if state governors can get respirators and ventilators themselves more quickly than going through the federal government, then they should do so. However, the federal government will be assisting in providing medical equipment.

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The controversy over half of the quote was asked during the White House's press briefing on Monday. 

Times reporter Julie Bosman defended sharing the quote out of context "because the second part of the quote repeats the first part, twice."

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