WATCH: Reporter hits Trump with wrong data; Trump slams him, reporter later on apologizes
(Screenshot: Fox News)
President Donald Trump and Dr. Deborah Birx would hold a news conference on Tuesday that was also joined by the governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis. At the conference, a reporter from Yahoo News would try to target Trump, making the argument, "Overall, South Korea has done five times more tests than the U.S. per capita. Why is that?"
When Trump would debate that assumption, the Yahoo News reporter kept selling that his information was factual, which then caused the president to ask Dr. Birx for the correct information. Birx would state that the reporter was indeed incorrect with his information, which sent Trump back to the reporter to slam him saying, "Are you going to apologize, Yahoo? That's why you're 'Yahoo' and nobody knows who the hell you are. Nobody knows who you are, including me."
Hunter Walker, the reporter from Yahoo News, would later go on Twitter to tweet out an apology for being factually inaccurate, although he would take the opportunity to say some of his information was correct to try and soften his blow.
Here is the transcript of the exchange:
Walker: Overall, South Korea has done five times more tests than the U.S. per capita. Why is that?
Trump: I don’t think that’s true.
Walker: That is true, and you said this morning that, the White House said the U.S. passes South Korea in virus testing.
Trump: I don’t think it’s true. Who are you with?
Walker: Yahoo News. And it’s not true per capita.
Trump turned to Birx: Do you want to respond to that? You have the numbers.
Birx: Sure. I have the numbers. Remember early on we pushed tests to the outbreak areas, just like he described. His primary outbreak was in Miami-Dade and Broward County and Palm Beach so they pushed tests into that region. We did the same thing in the United States. So if you look at every single state that had an outbreak their testing is greater than anywhere in the world, in the four per forty-two per thousand range.
Walker: Your point is taken about individual area but overall we’ve had fourteen times more infections than South Korea. Are we doing something wrong and why is that?
Birx continued: Our epidemic looks much more like the European epidemic. So right now we’re tracking very close to the countries in Europe and we’re testing at their rate of their concentrated epidemics and where they’re occurring in the metros. I think it really shows the susceptibility of our major cities in the same way they were susceptible in Europe; and so we’ve been very focused on that. That’s not to say that we’re not supporting the world states; we’re very much supporting the world states and very much supporting their testing; there’s no state right now in the United States that’s tested really less than one percent, which is pretty remarkable when they really don’t have significant cases.
Birx added: To our Yahoo gentleman, I just want to make it clear that South Korea’s testing was 11 per 100,000 and we’re at 17 per 100,000.
Trump then chimed in: Are you going to apologize Yahoo? That’s why you’re ‘Yahoo’ and nobody knows who the hell you are. Nobody knows who you are, including me.
Fox News would then later report:
“Several mainstream journalists initially took Walker’s claim as gospel and took to Twitter to scold Trump for his harsh response. Walker then hopped on Twitter himself and apologized to the president, blaming the gaffe on misreading a chart.”
Here was Walker's apology on Twitter:
“In the Oval Office, I asked about test rates and infection rates compared to South Korea. President Trump and Dr. Birx said I was wrong that they’ve done more tests per capita. Trump said I should apologize. They did not address multiple questions about our higher infection rate … 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.”
You can watch the exchange below: