The office of Vice President Mike Pence is accusing CBS News of deceptively editing an interview he gave to reporter John Dickerson.
During a discussion about coronavirus testing on Sunday’s Face the Nation, Dickerson asked Pence in an unaired portion of their conversation why the country has seen ballooning coronavirus cases in recent weeks.
“Let me respond — but you don’t want to leave the impression that this is just an increase in testing because what’s vital here, according to the experts, is that the percentage of positive cases has gone up, that something is happening here more than just an increase in cases because there’s more testing,” Dickerson asked, according to a transcript of the 28-minute interview shared by Pence’s office with the Washington Examiner.
“But, to your point, John, it’s clear that testing isn’t the only reason that we’re seeing more cases, but it’s a significant reason,” Pence responded. “It’s inarguable that at a time that we’re able to do 500,000 tests a day, more than 30 million tests nationwide, that now we’re able to test a great number of Americans that have no symptoms, where, early on in this pandemic, we literally were limiting testing to people of a certain age group, most notably seniors and also people that had symptoms of the coronavirus.”
In a clip of the interview tweeted by the show’s account, Pence was quoted as saying, “It’s inarguable that the historic increase in testing that we’ve accomplished in this country has played a role in the new cases.” The tweet, which omitted the context of Pence’s full remarks, also implied that the vice president was arguing that increased testing is “fully” responsible for the recent rise in cases.
The tweet was later deleted and replaced it with a “clarification” noting in its caption that Pence said “testing isn’t the only reason” behind the spikes.
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) June 28, 2020
“This morning, Vice President Pence joined John Dickerson on CBS News’ Face the Nation. On the editing room floor, CBS attempts to deceive the viewers by editing out Vice President Pence’s answer,” Pence’s office said. “During the interview, John Dickerson asked Vice President Pence the same question twice. See the transcript from the edited out question below.”
The vice president’s office cited separate remarks he made during the interview, which CBS did air, explaining there could be other factors for an increase in cases outside of more testing.
“And so we really believe that what is happening here is a combination of increased testing — we’re able to test a great deal more Americans than we were able to several months ago,” he said. “But it also may be an indication that, as we’re opening our economy up, that younger Americans have been congregating in ways that may have disregarded the guidance that we gave on the federal level for all the phases of reopening.”
Earlier this month, Pence drew criticism after he reportedly urged state governors to explain to the media and public that any increases in coronavirus cases can be directly tied to an expanded testing ability.
“I would just encourage you all, as we talk about these things, to make sure and continue to explain to your citizens the magnitude of increase in testing,” he said on a call with governors, according to the New York Times. “And that in most of the cases where we are seeing some marginal rise in number, that’s more a result of the extraordinary work you’re doing.”
Health experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, have said an increased testing capacity nationwide is not the sole reason for a jump in confirmed cases of COVID-19.
More than 2.5 million people in the United States have been infected with coronavirus since the pandemic began in late January, and 125,000 have died from it nationwide. Health officials warned last week the actual number of cases could be 10 times higher than has been recorded.
Author: Dominick Mastrangelo
Source: Washington Examiner: Pence’s office accuses CBS News of ‘editing out’ coronavirus remark in interview ‘to deceive’ viewers