The head of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will appear on a CNN town-hall broadcast Thursday evening, ending a short stand-off between the White House and the cable-news outlet over its recent coverage of the Trump administration’s daily coronavirus briefings.
CNN said Thursday afternoon that CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield had been booked for the town hall and that Dr. Robert Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-diseases expert, was slated to appear Friday on “New Day.”
CNN had been told earlier Thursday by a spokesman for Vice President Michael Pence that it could not have access to top government health officials grappling with the nation’s coronavirus pandemic unless it televised specific portions of the Trump Administration’s daily briefings on the spread of the disease.
“When you guys cover the briefings with the health officials then you can expect them back on your air,” a Pence spokesperson told CNN, according to a report posted Thursday.
The administration briefings have become a hot topic among news critics, because President Trump often uses the forum to spread misinformation or brag about accomplishments. Several pundits have called for the news networks to stop televising the events, and several of them have taken to cutting away from the briefings depending upon the person talking and the details being discussed.
CNN and the Trump White House have squabbled almost continuously since the 2016 election, with Trump often calling out its reporters during briefings and rallies.