President Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) met at the Oval Office earlier today to discuss DeSantis’s plans to reopen the state.
During the meeting, which was also attended by Wuhan coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx and members of the White House press corps, Yahoo News reporter Hunter Walker tried a gotcha question on President Trump regarding virus testing, claiming the United States lagged behind South Korea “overall.”
“Mr. President,” Walker began excitedly. “Overall South Korea has done five times more tests than the U.S. per capita. Why is that?”
“I don’t think that’s true,” Trump responded.
Walker, believing he had Trump cornered, pressed on. “That is true,” he claimed, referencing comments the White House made earlier about the U.S. surpassing South Korea on testing numbers.
Trump continued to deny the claim while Walker was adamant that it was true, so Trump asked Dr. Birx to step in and clarify matters. Once she did, Trump unloaded:
Dr. Deborah Birx quickly confirmed that his numbers were off. As of April 28, the United States has tested 16,959 people for every one million residents, compared to 11,869 tests per one million people in South Korea, according to the COVID Tracking Project and CDC.
“Are you going to apologize Yahoo? That’s why you’re ‘Yahoo’ and nobody knows who the hell you are,” Trump said. “Nobody knows who you are, including me.”
Afterwards, Birx grinned as she told Walker to check his facts.
Trump to reporter: "Are you going to apologize, Yahoo? That's why you're Yahoo and nobody knows who the hell you are. That's why nobody knows who you are including me." pic.twitter.com/AGNi5zBvRO
— The Hill (@thehill) April 28, 2020
As it turns out, Birx and Trump were both correct:
I'm not Trump apologist, but the Yahoo reporter was wrong, though the US does still lag behind other countries. pic.twitter.com/kO6rvwftFM
— Anonymous Drew (@skrymir42) April 28, 2020
… which Walker later acknowledged in a tweet apologizing for his error:
We have passed South Korea in the number of tests conducted per capita. I misread the mobile version of this chart and am sorry about that @realDonaldTrump . Our infection rate is far higher though as I noted.
— Hunter Walker (@hunterw) April 28, 2020
This is not the first time Trump and Walker have battled each other. It happened in 2018, too, and Trump verbally clocked him for his obnoxious behavior:
Trump figured out who Walker was in 2018 when Walker asked if he had a response to Lil Jon claiming Trump called him "Uncle Tom."
Trump had to inform him that he didn't know who "Little John" was and said, "I hope [Yahoo] is doing well." (They weren't / aren't.) pic.twitter.com/MhHsuRT26j
— August Takala (@RudyTakala) April 28, 2020
I should also note that Walker is the same journalist who clutched pearls last week after the White House attempted some seating rearrangements during a press briefing:
We're in the middle of a pandemic and reporters are fretting over the White House wanting to change a few seating arrangements prior to the WH coronavirus task force press briefing. #journalism pic.twitter.com/kQ6YQrDFyx
— Sister Toldjah 😁 (@sistertoldjah) April 24, 2020
Honestly, Trump should appoint a babysitter to the coronavirus task force because clearly one is needed to mind the children masquerading as diligent mainstream media reporters during these things. So tiresome.