"The View" panelists ripped President Donald Trump's erratic response to the coronavirus outbreak, saying the administration was failing at the most basic responsibility of government.
Host Whoopi Goldberg rolled a clip of Trump admitting he didn't want Americans on board a cruise ship afflicted with the virus to remain on board to suppress the number of cases, and the panelists were astonished.
"I don't know what he just said," Goldberg said. "I don't understand what he's saying."
"When the numbers go up, it makes him look bad," said co-host Joy Behar. "The number of cases of coronavirus in the country, so when this ship landed, they go on land and that makes the numbers go up. That makes him look bad, the stock market reacts and he's worried about his presidency. He said, stay calm -- I haven't been calm since he got into office. Who has?"
The audience applauded, and co-host Sunny Hostin explained why the administration's response was making Americans so nervous.
"I think it's the mixed messages that has everybody just so crazed because at first it was, we have everything under control," Hostin said. "Then it was, there are very few cases and this will be contained in a few weeks or a few months, and we're getting -- for me at least, like, a trickling bit of information that seems to be very different, and just conflicting information, and I think when you are suspicious of the information that your government is giving you, that leads to the sort of fear that I think we're seeing."
Behar said Trump and his administration were failing the most basic test.
"What is government really for?" she said. "Government is there to protect you from terrorism, for a health thing -- just exactly this thing. Republicans like to say, we have small government, we only want small government. This is what government does -- or no government, a lot of people say. This is exactly the function of government, and our government is screwing up, so remember that at Election Day."