During a Fox News "town hall" with President Trump and the White House coronavirus task force, Trump read a headline from the right-wing website Gateway Pundit that accused New York Governor Andrew Cuomo of establishing "death panels" in his response to the coronavirus outbreak.
Citing the article, Trump said that Cuomo "had a choice" to order thousands of ventilators back in 2015 but refused to do so.
"This says, 'New York Governor Cuomo rejected buying recommended 16,000 ventilators in 2015 ... for a pandemic,'" Trump said, reading from a printout of the article. "'...established death panels and lotteries instead.' So, he had a chance to buy in 2015, 16,000 ventilators at a very low price and he turned it down. I'm not blaming him or anything else, but he shouldn't be talking about us."
It should be noted that the Gateway Pundit has an incredibly low credibility rating from fact checkers. According to the media watchdog group NewsGuard, the Gateway Pundit "regularly publishes hoaxes and widely shared conspiracy theories."
Trump's comments were met with a wide array of criticism on Twitter:
Holy shit. Trump just accused Cuomo of establishing "death panels" - an insane, debunked, bullshit Fox News conspir… https://t.co/kDDCJpkcZM— Brian Tyler Cohen (@Brian Tyler Cohen)1585071351.0
Trump just read out a headline from the very bad website Gateway Pundit claiming Cuomo established "death panels" i… https://t.co/H8rGjKoLvT— Daniel Dale (@Daniel Dale)1585070672.0
OH MY GOD The president of the United States just accused the governor of New York of setting up death panels and… https://t.co/C9tieVa0bf— S.V. Dáte (@S.V. Dáte)1585070645.0
On Fox just now Trump is attacking Gov Cuomo. Says Cuomo back in 2015 didn’t order more ventilators and “establishe… https://t.co/Hat7fvsHYh— Brody Levesque (@Brody Levesque)1585071593.0
And great job @BillHemmer not following up with Trump after he accused Cuomo of establishing Death Panels!— Brian Tashman (@Brian Tashman)1585071366.0
I hesitate to post this, but Trump just criticized Gov. Cuomo because he didn’t buy ventilators in 2015! He then sa… https://t.co/NEOLOnw3NT— Glenn Kirschner (@Glenn Kirschner)1585071851.0
Instead, they let Trump lie about Gov Cuomo setting up “death panels” in NY, when Trump is the one hinting that a c… https://t.co/DGDSOMPuvO— Kent Williams (@Kent Williams)1585073751.0
Trump ignored warnings from his own intelligence analysts and public health experts just weeks ago and misled Ameri… https://t.co/aAY0QEZU6R— Dan Friedman (@Dan Friedman)1585074082.0
My God. Cuomo is literally pleading for more ventilators, says they need 30,000 and we’re given 400. Trump’s respon… https://t.co/iZ0aSlgs5l— Hutch (@Hutch)1585073603.0
#Trump is a dangerous distracter. As @Tom_Winter has reported, in 2015 NY modeled a hypothetical pandemic, found th… https://t.co/KRRKg9a5QC— Maya Wiley (@Maya Wiley)1585073879.0