Newt Gingrich torn to shreds for blaming coronavirus skepticism on media
Newt Gingrich speaks to ABC News (screen grab)

Newt Gingrich blamed the media for the public's initial skepticism of the threat posed by the coronavirus outbreak.

The virus has been spreading in China for months and was widely expected to reach the U.S., but the federal government and the public seemed largely unconcerned until last week -- and Gingrich blamed the media.

"A reporter asked me today why conservatives were initially so skeptical of the threat of the coronavirus," Gingrich tweeted. "I tried to explain that one of the dangerous consequences of having a totally dishonest left wing news media was that most Americans discounted their hysteria as phony."

Gingrich overlooked comments by President Donald Trump -- who called COVID-19 a "hoax" -- and Republican lawmakers, who were urging Americans to dine out over the weekend, and conservative media figures who questioned the danger posed by the virus.