The host of "The Rachel Maddow Show" on MSNBC updated her viewers on the latest global news about the COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic.
"Even on a day with all of that happening, I will tell you, the single most unnerving piece of news I saw today was this, from the Associated Press," Maddow said.
She read from an AP story titled, "Official: White House didn’t want to tell seniors not to fly."
"The White House overruled health officials who wanted to recommend that elderly and physically fragile Americans be advised not to fly on commercial airlines because of the new coronavirus, a federal official told The Associated Press. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention submitted the plan as a way of trying to control the virus, but White House officials ordered the air travel recommendation be removed, said the official who had direct knowledge of the plan," the AP reported.
Maddow was shocked.
"So if this Associated Press report is correct, the Centers for Disease Control concluded, internally, in what was presumably a science-driven process, that not just people with underlying health conditions, not just people with another health challenge, but all older Americans, should not fly," Maddow explained. That was the CDC's reported conclusion about the advice Americans should be given in the context of this virus, in order to keep ourselves safe and alive: older Americans, don't get on planes."
"What happened to that recommendation? White House officials ordered the air travel recommendation be removed," she explained. "And the reason we know about this reported conclusion of the Centers for Disease Control about what Americans should be doing, about what advice Americans should get in the middle of this crisis, is because somebody who is not authorized to speak publicly about the matter was apparently freaked out enough by this advice being spiked by the White House that this person instead went to the press, went to the Associated Press, to make sure that the word got out, because otherwise, how would we know?" she added.