CNBC’s “Squawk Box” hosts Andrew Ross Sorkin and Joe Kernen went at one another Wednesday morning as the American coronavirus death toll surpassed 100,000.
“You panicked about the market. You panicked about COVID. You panicked about the ventilators. You panicked about the PPE. You panicked about ever going out again,” Kernen rattled off, only to be interrupted by Sorkin, who is also a columnist for the New York Times.
“You didn’t panic about anything,” an exasperated Sorkin said, accusing his colleague of downplaying the pandemic threat.
“What good is that?” Kernan replied, “Why not help people keep their head?”
“100,00 people died,” Sorkin said. “100,00 people died, Joe, and all you did was try to help your friend, the president. Every single morning on this show, you used and abused your position, Joe.”
Kernen, a 25-year veteran of the show who secured a sit-down interview with President Trump in January, responded that Sorkin’s characterization of how he covered the coronavirus crisis was “totally unfair.”
“I’m trying to help investors keep their cool, keep their heads, and as it turned out, that’s what they should have done,” he said. “If they had kept their heads…”
Sorkin pointed out that his argument revolved around human lives, not stocks, then seemingly gave up and repeatedly told Kernan to just “do the news.”
Watch their heated exchange on “Squawk Box” below:
"I'm begging you to do the news, Joseph!" pic.twitter.com/DwVO5Ox5FJ
— Rob Tornoe (@RobTornoe) May 27, 2020