CNN reporter Jake Tapper slammed a tweet by US President Donald Trump in which the president retweeted a video, which he captioned "FAKE NEWS IS NOT ESSENTIAL!" by tweeting the numbers of dead and infected Americans during the coronavirus outbreak.
“FAKE NEWS IS NOT ESSENTIAL!”https://t.co/5286zgRVWQ— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 16, 2020
Some "87,000 Americans dead, 1.3 million infected," he wrote, "and the president is attacking a local TV reporter who was trying to do his job."
The reporter, Kevin Vesey from News 12 Long Island, was told he is "fake news" and that he is "the enemy of the people" when he covered a protest by those who claimed the coronavirus restrictions are unjust. Many of them carried pro-Trump banners.
"You're the virus," one of them said. "Fake news is not essential," the crowd chanted, a sentiment later echoed in President Trump's retweet. One person held a sign saying "small business is essential."
A man who walked by said to the reporter, "You used to be a good TV channel, I don't know what happened to you."