Counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway appeared on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” Wednesday morning, attempting to take a shot at the World Health Organization — and has been brutally mocked for her seemingly scientifically inaccurate comment. The White House, however, claims she did not misspeak.
“This is COVID-19, not COVID-1, folks,” she declared, “and so you would think the people in charge of the World Health Organization, facts and figures, would be on top of that.”
COVID-19 means, in reality, “coronavirus disease 2019,” a reference to the year the strain currently causing a global pandemic was first discovered. It has nothing to do with the number of previously-discovered strains, as Conway seemingly suggested.
“No wonder the WHO has lost the plot, they didn’t even bother watching the first 18 COVIDs,” sniped New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait on Twitter.
Lawyer Bradley Moss, however, didn’t let her off easily and, in fact, cautioned that the jokes might be what she wanted in the first place: “Kellyanne is not dumb, folks. She’s rather intelligent. She’s simply gaslighting, depending on the fact that the president’s base either doesn’t know the facts here or doesn’t care so long as they get to mock the subsequent liberal outrage.”
A White House official told TheWrap, “Kellyanne is well aware that ’19’ refers to the year. She attends Task Force meetings daily and sits right behind Drs. Birx and Fauci. Kellyanne never mentioned ’18 other coronaviruses’. In three different interviews today, Kellyanne made the same point: The WHO has one job, to anticipate infectious disease pandemics. They are charged with managing the information – the facts and figures – and are paid handsomely to do so. ‘This is COVID 19, not COVID 1’ on one show addressed the sheer number of years the U.S. has given billions and billions of dollars to WHO and were failed by them when it came to the origins, severity, human-to-human transmission and such related to Coronavirus.”
Kellyanne Conway: "This is COVID-19, not COVID-1 folks, and so you would think the people in charge of the World Health Organization, facts and figures, would be on top of that." pic.twitter.com/losQ3H4ZhW
— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) April 15, 2020