To be fair, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro is a goddamn idiot, so he was grossly outmatched from the time he agreed to sit down with 60 Minutes, but he did it anyway—and got his ass handed to him by the host, the staff and the interns.
During his appearance, Navarro—whose qualifications seem to be proximity to Trump and being a whiny white man—was asked about the Trump administration’s lack of preparedness in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.
Asked whether the intelligence community had been warning the administration of a possible threat since January, Navarro interrupted correspondent Bill Whitaker, who is a black man, with: “This is like the fake news stuff.”
“I don’t know what you mean. It’s like if an intelligence agency said a global pandemic could happen, right? I mean, I’m sure they’ve been saying that for decades and nobody took them seriously,” Navarro said, the Hill reports. “Why, I mean black swans are hard to sell. This was the 500-year flood, this hasn’t happened since 1917. You can line up every president since then and say, ‘Why didn’t you think this could happen again,’ but that’s not productive right now.”
And that is where Navarro made his biggest mistake.
Navarro challenged Whitaker to show him a 60 Minutes episode from the Obama administration or George W. Bush administration with a report about a potential global pandemic.
“Show me the 60 Minutes episode a year ago, two years ago or during the Obama administration, during the Bush administration, that said, ‘Hey a global pandemic [is] coming, you got to do XYZ and by the way, we would shut down the entire global economy to fight it,’” Navarro said.
“Show me that episode, then you’ll have some credence in terms of attacking the Trump administration for not being prepared,” Navarro added.
Here is live footage of Bill Whitaker’s mind at this exact moment.
“I guarantee you we did,” Whitaker responded, the Hill noted.
60 Minutes then cut to several clips from 2009 and 2005 which showed experts discussing the swine flu and the avian flu. Hell, there was even a clip of Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the lead members of the current White House administration’s Coronavirus Task Force talking about the possibility of impending doom if they didn’t take the threat of virus seriously.
“The 2005 episode included interviews with Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert and member of the White House coronavirus task force, discussing the nature of the outbreak and what was being done to prepare,” the Hill reports.
Because this administration is nothing if not boldly stupid, Navarro told 60 Minutes that he’d give “no apologies here from this administration.”
“We are, we are doing better and more than any other president could’ve done,” he added.
“Sir, this is the best you can?” Whitaker pressed, the Hill reports.
“You say, ‘This is the best you can?’ It’s, like, oh, somebody could’ve done better. Really? Who could’ve done better on this? I mean, really, think about this,” Navarro responded.
What’s hilarious about all of this is that while Navarro was being an absolute prick on television, the New York Times reported just last week that it was Navarro who warned White House colleagues about the coronavirus and its possible effects. Navarro also issued another warning in February as President Trump was still rallying and calling it a hoax.
Also last week, Trump noted that he’d not seen these memos and even if he had seen them, he couldn’t read them unless someone pulled out the ball gag on Sen. Lindsey Graham’s mask and forced him to read the memos aloud, so he wouldn’t have known what they said and probably still wouldn’t have done shit because unless it involves his golf game or helping his friends and family make more money, he doesn’t give a shit.-Stephen A. Crockett Jr.
Watch it all play out here: