In Coronavirus Coverage, a Tricky Balance Between Scrutiny and Amplification

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Remember when the Sunday shows were filled with Democratic presidential candidates, or Republican lawmakers spreading debunked claims about Trump and Ukraine? In recent weeks, as the coronavirus crisis has taken hold and relegated recent huge stories to the realm of distant memory, administration officials—Mike Pence, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Surgeon General Jerome Adams, and others—have (often virtually) made the rounds. Yesterday, it was the turn of Peter Gaynor, the Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator, who appeared on ABC, NBC, and CNN. On the latter network, Jake Tapper tried to pin Gaynor down on the number of protective masks the federal government has acquired and sent out to hospitals. Gaynor wouldn’t even venture an estimate.

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