Fox News host: “It doesn't feel productive” to “sit there and attack” Trump's coronavirus response

Melissa Francis: Trump has “been criticized all day long by Democrats who are never happy with a single thing he's ever done”

Video file

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

JESSICA TARLOV (BUSTLE.COM RESEARCH DIRECTOR): I know that I have been criticized before for politicizing or talking about the political angle of this. But the address last night, which was read off of a teleprompter -- so pre-prepared remarks -- contained three glaring errors that the White House had to walk back within minutes, including saying that we were banning cargo coming from Europe, that everyone was banned from traveling from Europe. So there were Americans -- I don't know if people have seen the pictures at Charles de Gaulle, where Americans are showing up, paying up to $20,000 to come home when in fact they weren't banned from that. Or the president saying that co-pays are going to be waived by insurance companies for the testing and for treatment, when that is not true. Just for testing, not for treatment. The inaccuracies coming from the White House are creating or fomenting, increasing, whatever word you want to use, the panic around us.

DR. NICOLE SAPHIER (FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR): I guess, but I'll be honest, communication and transparency is extremely important right now. We are already in a state of panic. And some of these, albeit they may seem like small mistakes, people are really counting on them. Some people will say these are small little mistakes --

TARLOV: I don't think that actually the president's defenders can say that this is even a small mistake.


MELISSA FRANCIS (CO-HOST): Before we jump on what are the errors and what's wrong with this, to me, it is -- there were two points. Number one, this is a starting point. I mean, I don't think he said "This is the only place we're going to be doing these bans forever." I think it's the beginning of where we're starting it instantly. And the second thing is that we don't know all the answers, and we don't know how these things are going. So when you want to sit there and attack, it doesn't feel productive, and the president was trying to say -- I think with last night, the big message was he had been criticized all day long by Democrats who are never happy with a single thing he's ever done, saying that he's not taking it seriously. And last night was about, "We are taking this very seriously."

BILL MCGURN (FORMER GEORGE W. BUSH SPEECHWRITER): Look, I have a lot of sympathy as a former speechwriter for the president. I remember Katrina. All these problems started out the same way where you have no knowledge, there are lots of mistakes early on, lots of misinformation or misimpressions. The key is -- Don Rumsfeld used to say that the two biggest challenges, you have the known unknowns -- what you know you don't know about it -- and the unknown unknowns. So we have a lot of those here. The president isn't a doctor. He's really meant to be reassuring. I think, for the transparency, what I think is best is for almost every day, for the president or some member of the team to go out and say what we've learned, and what we don't know.