White House spokesperson evades answering when Trump last tested negative 6 times in 1 interview

The White House really doesn’t want to reveal last time President Trump tested negative for COVID-19.

While the White House insists Trump first tested positive for the coronavirus a week ago, late on Oct. 1, that test only came after he had reportedly been showing symptoms of the virus. Reporters have since been trying and failing to get an answer on just when Trump last tested negative, including MSNBC’s Hallie Jackson, who pressed White House Deputy Press Secretary Brian Morgenstern six times for an answer on Friday.

When Jackson first asked for the date of Trump’s last test, Morgenstern first insisted he didn’t know, to which Jackson questioned if he’d even asked for an answer. Jackson then reminded him there is public health value to this question, as knowing when Trump was last testing negative could help pinpoint when he was infected and who he could’ve spread it to. And when Jackson asked if Trump had at least tested negative for the virus before debating Democratic nominee Joe Biden last week, Morgenstern echoed Trump’s doctor Sean Conley in telling Jackson she was “very focused in looking backwards.” After her final attempt, when Morgenstern implored Jackson to talk about something else, she shut the interview down.

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Top White House aide’s interview goes haywire over Trump coronavirus remarks

An interview with top White House trade adviser Peter Navarro on Sunday went off the rails after he was pressed about revelations last week that President Donald Trump intentionally downplayed coronavirus in the early months of the pandemic.

Clashing with host Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Navarro’s interview cut out as the two men began shouting over one another.

Tapper confronted Navarro about Trump’s tape-recorded comments in journalist Bob Woodward’s new book, “Rage,” set to be released this week. In it, Trump told Woodward in a Feb. 7 phone call that coronavirus “is deadly stuff” and worse than the flu. After that conversation, though, Trump publicly downplayed the virus and repeatedly compared it to the flu.

“In February nobody knew,” Navarro said of the novel coronavirus’ potential impact, despite Trump’s comments to Woodward, which were taped. “No, nobody knew. Not the president, not you, not Nancy Pelosi, not Bill de Blasio.”

Navarro then accused Tapper of “cherry-picking” comments the president made. Tapper responded by saying that Trump “was not honest with the American people” about the virus’ impact.

“You’re not honest with the American people,” Navarro said. “CNN is not honest with the American people.”

Navarro also pointed to Trump’s decision to bar some travelers from China in late January, a step he said proved the president viewed the virus as “a serious, serious matter.”

Navarro described the White House strategy from this time as “hope for the best, prepare for the worst, stay calm and begin to attack” the virus. He added that he authored a memo on Feb. 9, two days after Trump’s phone call with Woodward, outlining the need for personal protective equipment and therapeutics.

The Woodward revelations have reverberated in Washington, D.C., and on the campaign trail in recent days. Faced with the conflicting statements and recorded remarks in which Trump said he intentionally downplayed the virus publicly, the president has said doing so was necessary to maintain “calm” and that he didn’t want people to “panic,” insisting Thursday he “didn’t lie” to the American public.

“What I said is we have to be calm,” he said of painting a rosier picture than the reality. “We can’t be panicked.”

Speaking to reporters at the White House then, Trump sidestepped a question on why he was telling the public the virus was “like a flu” when he knew earlier it was much more lethal.

“What I went out and said is very simple: I want to show a level of confidence, strength as a leader,” Trump said.

Trump told Woodward in that February call that he knew the virus was airborne, which was not widely known to the public at the time. In March, he told Woodward: “I wanted to always play it down.”

“I still like playing it down because I don’t want to create a panic,” Trump said in a recorded March 19 call with Woodward.

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White House adviser says Trump was ‘straightforward’ on coronavirus when pressed on Woodward interview

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro dismissed concerns on Sunday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump slams Nevada governor at rally, takes aim at mail-in voting Former NFL coach Mike Holmgren slams Trump pandemic response, throws support to Biden Watch Live: Trump rallies supporters in Nevada MORE was purposely downplaying the threat of the coronavirus earlier this year in light of recently released recordings that show Trump privately acknowledged the threat to journalist Bob Woodward in February. 

CNN’s Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperOvernight Defense: Trump announces new US ambassador to Afghanistan | Pentagon officially withdraws plan to end ‘Stars and Stripes’ | Biden says Trump doesn’t understand national security, intel officials ‘don’t trust’ him Biden vows to be ‘totally transparent’ on his health if elected Biden says Trump doesn’t understand national security, intel officials ‘don’t trust’ him MORE asked Navarro during a heated interview on “State of the Union” about Trump’s comments in a Feb. 7 interview with Woodward for a forthcoming book that contradicted what the president said publicly about the coronavirus a couple days later. 

Recordings released last week show Trump privately told Woodward the coronavirus was five times deadlier than the flu, but during a press conference a couple of days after the president said the opposite when asked about the coronavirus. 

Asked by Tapper on Sunday why the president was misleading the public, Navarro responded by noting Trump’s so-called travel ban on China imposed at the end of January and plans the White house created in early February to prepare for the virus. 

“You’re not answering my question, you’re talking about what you were doing privately,” Tapper told Navarro. 

Tapper pressed Navarro on the contradiction between Trump’s public comments and those to Woodward, noting that even some Republicans, including Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine.), called Trump out after the recording was released. 

“Why wasn’t the president straightforward with the American people?” Tapper asked. 

“He was straightforward,” Navarro responded, adding that Tapper was “cherry picking.”

Tapper said he was not cherry picking, and said he wanted Navarro to answer the question. 

Navarro continued defending Trump’s comments, claiming that “CNN is not honest with the American people.”

Trump participated in multiple interviews with Woodward for his forthcoming book titled, “Rage,” which is the journalist’s second on the Trump presidency. 

Last week, Trump said “perhaps” he misled the public to “reduce panic” about the coronavirus, when asked about the recordings. 

“If you said in order to reduce panic, perhaps that’s so,” Trump told reporters last Wednesday when asked if he downplayed the virus or misled the public to avoid panic.

“The fact is I’m a cheerleader for this country. I love our country,” Trump continued. “I don’t want people to be frightened. I don’t want to create panic, as you say, and certainly I’m not going to drive this country or the world into a frenzy.

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Interview With Michael David Ries, MD, Author of "The Joint Kitchen"

Dr. Michael Ries is an orthopedic surgeon and the Arthroplasty Fellowship Director at the Reno Orthopedic Clinic. He received a BS and MS from MIT, and his medical degree from Dartmouth Medical School, and has been in practice for more than 25 years.

Dr. Ries has a practice limited to hip and knee arthroplasty surgery and treatment of arthritic hip and knee conditions. He was on the full time faculty at the University of California, San Francisco from 1997 to 2013 where he was Professor of Orthopedic Surgery and Chief of Arthroplasty. During this time he also participated regularly in laboratory and clinical research. Dr. Ries has published 210 peer reviewed journal articles and 52 book chapters on topics related to clinical results and biomaterials used in hip and knee replacement.

What differentiates D. Ries most from his peer group is that he has helped develop a number of hip and knee replacements and is an inventor on 45 US patents for hip and knee replacement devices. He is also a father of three active children, husband to a beautiful Russian wife, avid skier, and household handyman.

Welcome Michael, and thank you for being with us today! Why don't you start by telling our readers a bit about your journey to becoming a published author?

I am an orthopedic surgeon and most of my career has been in academic medicine. That means that I travel and speak at a lot of medical conferences. The topics presented and discussed at these meetings deal with medical issues and new hip and knee replacement inventions are generally not included. Over the past five or six years it seems, I have been asked by some of the younger surgeons attending these meetings how to develop ideas for improvements in hip and knee replacement devices. When I responded to these questions I noticed that some of the non-medical people in the audience seemed very interested in the discussion, and I thought that maybe others would be interested in reading a book about it.

What is The Joint Kitchen about?

This book is a story about where ideas for inventions come from. It describes how wonderfully efficient the normal hip and knee joint really are, and why we can't make hip and knee replacements as perfect as the normal joints we were born with.

Then a doctor who found himself just cleaning the kitchen, preparing food, opening a wine bottle, unscrewing a jar top, riding a chairlift, fishing, skiing, or watching snowflakes fall drew similar images on a paper that turned into patents for new hip and knee replacements. The story suggests that when our mind is in a peaceful state of tranquility the creative and problem solving parts of our brain can magically connect and create a new idea.

What inspired you to write the Joint Kitchen ?

I've helped develop a number of hip and knee replacement devices over the years. I really didn't know why the ideas for these inventions sort of popped …

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