Donald Trump has been mocked for retweeting comments by a former game show host lamenting the coronavirus recommendations issued by experts.
The president, who is said to be growing particularly frustrated by Dr Anthony Fauci, head of the center for infectious diseases, highlighted Chuck Woolery’s comments on Monday.
‘The most outrageous lies are the ones about Covid 19,’ Woolery tweeted to his 686,000 followers.
‘Everyone is lying. The CDC, Media, Democrats, our Doctors, not all but most ,that we are told to trust.
‘I think it’s all about the election and keeping the economy from coming back, which is about the election.
‘I’m sick of it.’
Chuck Woolery, pictured in 2015, found his criticism of scientists retweeted by the president
Woolery, the 79-year-old original host of Wheel of Fortune, weighed in on the scientific debate
His comments were ‘liked’ 87,000 times, and retweeted to Trump’s 83.4 million followers.
Woolery, 79, was the original host of Wheel of Fortune, presenting the show from 1975 to 1981.
He hosted a series of dating shows, and his career culminated in 2007 with Game Show Network’s Lingo.
In response to the uproar, Woolery attempted to clarify his views, and added that his son had tested positive for COVID-19.
He said he simply wanted to emphasize the need to have ‘the best information to make the best decisions.’
Woolery on Monday afternoon expanded on his views about COVID and science
Woolery said he was simply pointing out the need for accurate data before making decisions
Yet Trump’s critics were shocked by the president’s siding with a 1980s game show host over experts such as Fauci.
‘This idea that our president is taking advice from somebody like Chuck Woolery, or promoting these kind of words from the guy whose biggest claim to fame is being the host of the Love Connection or a name in a Beastie Boys song is just utterly insanity,’ said epidemiologist Anne Rimoin, in an interview with MSNBC.
Woolery’s career as a game show host began in the 1970s and ended in 2007
In 2002 Woolery hosted a contest to find who had the ‘most beautiful underarms’
Ben Sommers, a doctor who teaches at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said the retweet was damaging.
‘When the president is calling the guidance wrong and endorsing the view that these public health experts are lying, it makes it incredibly difficult for the public to know what to do,’ he told The Washington Post.
‘It erodes the long-term ability of our government to provide one of its basic goals which is to protect the public safety.’
Beto O’Rourke, a former Texas congressman and Democrat presidential candidate, despaired at the tweet.
‘This virus is out of control, with no leadership from our governor, no leadership from the president, who as you mentioned is tweeting out health guidance from Chuck Woolery instead of Dr Fauci,’ he said.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, asked about the retweet, defended the president’s criticisms of Fauci and reinforce the president’s attacks on the government’s health experts.
She accused ‘some rogue individuals’ at the CDC of misleading the public and defended Trump’s retweet of Woolery by saying he was calling out scientists for engaging in politics.
‘Overall, the notion of the tweet was to point out the fact that when we use science, we have to use it in a way that is not political,’ she said.
But the retweet was ridiculed on social media by Trump’s critics.
Ted Lieu, a Democrat congressman for California, reacted angrily to Trump’s retweet
Ted Lieu, congressman for California, defended the scientists and accused the president of deciding ‘to stab you in the back during a pandemic.’
He later tweeted: ‘Dear @chuckwoolery,’ with a link to an LA Times account from a hospital chaplain.
Bryan Behar, an Emmy-nominated writer, tweeted: ‘Now we have TWO washed-up game show hosts giving the nation medical advice.’
Grant Stern, an activist with Occupy Democrats, simply told his 100,000 followers: ‘Trump values Chuck Woolery’s opinion over Dr Fauci.’
Emmy-nominated writer Bryan Behar mocked the president for the retweet
Democrat activist Grant Stern told his 100,000 followers the retweet was a depressing sign