In an old-movie reference that surely escaped many Americans, on CNN's New Day this morning co-host John Berman twice referred to President Trump's return to the White House yesterday as a Sunset Boulevard stunt.
This morning, the fact is, denial won't help you. Makeup won't help you. And based on what we've just heard and seen, the president won't help you. Now, masks will help you. But the president made a grand, theatrical gesture of whipping his off in a Sunset Boulevard return to the White House.
But it was in fact Berman who was playing the melodramatic role. At one point, as the show was rolling the clip of President Trump removing his mask on a White House balcony, Berman frantically ordered the producer:
"Take if off! Please, don't even put it on the screen! Please take it off! Because that's going to kill people!"
Berman's implication: Trump's gesture will encourage others to act in ways that will endanger them and others.
But what gave away Berman's game was that his show had already played the clip—twice!—before Berman made his dramatic demand. So Berman wasn't trying to save lives: he was just engaging in a virtue-signaling stunt. Never mind that most people -- even infected people -- take off their masks when they arrive at home. The only difference is most people aren't posing before a battery of cameras.
Other noteworthy moments from the segment: Dr. Peter Hotez, a doctor who makes frequent CNN appearances, said that, depending on behaviors, by the end of the year we will have either 270,000 American deaths or 400,000, and that President Trump "has sent a message to the American people, 'let's go for the 400,000 number.'"
Those "medical experts" sure sound like they're booked to attack like Democrats.
And a clip was aired of Joe Biden, yet again saying that 210 MILLION Americans had died of coronavirus, before catching himself and saying that 210,000 have died. A bug, or a feature?
CNN host John Berman's melodramatic moment, ordering that the clip of President Trump removing his mask not be played because it would "kill people", was sponsored in part by Chewy, Liberty Mutual, and Dell.
Here's the transcript.
6:00 am EDT
JOHN BERMAN: This morning, the fact is, denial won't help you. Makeup won't help you. And based on what we've just heard and seen, the president won't help you. Now, masks will help you. But the president made a grand, theatrical gesture of whipping his off in a Sunset Boulevard return to the White House.
. . .
JOE JOHNS: A reckless return to the White House for President Trump. While likely contagious, Trump still removing his mask on the White House balcony to pose for photos in his highly-produced homecoming before going inside.
. . .
JOE BIDEN: The only thing I heard was one of the tweets saying that, don't be so concerned about all this, essentially. There's a lot to be concerned about! 210 MILLLION -- 210 thousand people have died.
. . .
BERMAN: And the president, in that Sunset Boulevard gesture, whipped his mask off in front of the American people on the nightly news last night. So, as a doctor whose job it is -- you know, take if off! Please, don't even put it on the screen! Please take it off! Because that's going to kill people!
PETER HOTEZ: How we behave over the next few months will determine 270,000 dead Americans by the end of this year, or over 400,000 dead Americans. The president has sent a message to the American people: let's go for the 400,000 number. He put out the message: let's let this thing rip. Don't let it interfere with your daily activities. Don't be fearful: let's have 400,000 Americans dead.