Fox & Friends host complains reporters are trying to “nitpick” what Trump's medical team is saying

Trump's medical team has made a number of contradictory statements

A Fox News host and close ally of President Donald Trump is attacking journalists for asking basic questions about the timeline of the president's COVID-19 diagnosis.

There was widespread confusion on Saturday afternoon after Trump's physician Dr. Sean Conley said that he was “72 hours into the diagnosis.”

A Saturday press briefing by President Trump's physician raised many more questions as Dr. Sean Conley told reporters the president was "72 hours into the diagnosis" of COVID-19, indicating the president may have appeared at campaign events in person after he was exhibiting symptoms of the virus. In a memo from the White House, Conley clarified that Mr. Trump was " first diagnosed with COVID-19 on Thursday, October 1st." 

Multiple reporters expressed confusion over these statements by Trump’s medical team. As some noted, if this was accurate, it would mean he attended a campaign event with full knowledge that he was infected with coronavirus.

Conley would later walk back his comments, as well as comments by another physician at that briefing who said that Trump was treated “about 48 hours ago.”

Saturday afternoon, Conley released a memo aimed at clarifying the timeline.
"This morning while summarizing the President's health, I incorrectly used the term 'seventy two hours' instead of 'day three' and 'fourth eight hours' instead of 'day two' with regards to his diagnosis and the administration of the polyclonal antibody therapy.
"The President was first diagnosed with COVID-19 on the evening of Thursday, October 1st and had received Regeron's antibody cocktail on Friday, October 2nd."
The memo had misspellings, including the name of Regeneron, the name of the company that makes the treatment Trump received. A spokesperson for Regeneron told CNN that the treatment was a monoclonal antibody treatment, not a polyclonal antibody treatment. The memo also did not note that the 48-hour remark was made by Garibaldi, not Conley.

As both CNN and CBS News reported, there were multiple errors and inconsistencies in this memo.

And indeed, there are still serious unanswered questions. (Sunday's briefing in many ways further exacerbated the problems.)

Meanwhile, on Fox & Friends on Sunday morning, host Pete Hegseth complained that reporters were trying to “trip up the White House” by covering the inconsistencies in the timing of Trump’s diagnosis, and said they weren’t “actually attempts to find out what is going on.”

Video file

Citation From the October 4, 2020, edition of Fox & Friends Weekend

PETE HEGSETH (CO-HOST): Dr. Jackson, you’re more familiar than almost anybody about the conditions of a president, how you report it. The media works overtime to try to nitpick and find inconsistencies or discrepancies, none of which are actually attempts to find out what's going on, but instead to try to trip up the White House. How do you make the balance between what you share and when you share it, and what is privileged information, because, well, he’s the commander-in-chief? 

DR. RONNY JACKSON (FORMER WHITE HOUSE DOCTOR): Right. it's a difficult line to walk, because you're right, you know, there are certain things are the president's right to decide whether or not he wants to share regarding his health. But on the other hand, the nation has an obligation to -- or we have an obligation to make sure the nation is informed about his healthcare being that he is our commander-in-chief and our head of state. I think that it’s a difficult line to walk, but I think that it’s -- you can do it. You just have to be straightforward. You have to have a good relationship with your patient. It has to be -- everybody has to be on the same page. You have to make sure that you're sharing the facts, and, you know, that you can continue to inspire confidence in the public. And so it's a difficult thing to do sometimes, but I think Dr. Conley is doing a good job of that for the most part. He made a couple missteps yesterday and said some things that weren't exactly accurate, but were accurate. You know, he said 72 hours versus day three. And the press took it and ran with that. And so there’s been a few issues like that, but it’s a challenge sometimes, I’ll be honest.