Fox & Friends downplays major errors in Trump's coronavirus address

Steve Doocy reassured viewers that “the president made it very clear we have a plan,” after Trump’s inaccurate announcement caused widespread confusion

President Donald Trump announced on March 11 that due to the coronavirus outbreak, his administration would be implementing a 30-day ban on all travel from Europe to the United States. Trump also said the United Kingdom was exempt from this ban. 

The federal government then scrambled to make several huge corrections to Trump’s announcement: The ban does not apply to trade or to permanent U.S. residents, and the U.K. is not the only exempt country. Additionally, Trump claimed that American insurance companies had agreed to fully cover all costs for coronavirus testing and treatment, even though they had agreed only to pay for tests

These massive errors caused widespread confusion before they were corrected, but on Fox & Friends the next morning, the hosts did their best to minimize the president’s clear lack of preparation. In the show’s opening segment, references to Trump’s many errors were extremely fleeting -- for example, co-host Brian Kilmeade briefly mentioned that “the president went back and clarified that” his travel ban did not apply to trade, even though the confusion took a serious toll on stock market futures. 

In the actual report, Fox correspondent Griff Jenkins barely referenced Trump’s many errors at all; he replayed a clip of Trump declaring that “we will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States” and then discussed other, unrelated relief measures before adding at the very end that the European travel ban “does not apply to Americans” or flights from the U.K. 

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Citation From the March 12, 2020, edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends