President Trump attacked CNN for continuing to cover the coronavirus pandemic, calling the network "dumb b*stards" at a campaign rally in Prescott, Arizona on Monday.
Why it matters: The president's attacks on the media and Anthony Fauci, the government's top infectious-disease expert, come as coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are again surging across the country, just two weeks out from Election Day.
- It's an unusual closing argument in an election campaign that has been dominated this year by the pandemic, which has infected more than 8.1 million Americans, killed over 219,000, and massively disrupted the U.S. and global economy.
- Over 65% of Americans are either "very" or "somewhat" about contracting the coronavirus, while 57.5% say they disapprove of Trump's handling of the pandemic, according to FiveThirtyEight's average of polls.
What he's saying: “You turn on CNN, that’s all they cover: COVID, COVID, pandemic, COVID, COVID … that’s all they cover. You know why? They’re trying to talk everyone out of voting. People are not buying it CNN, you dumb bastards," Trump said to a crowd of cheering supporters.
- Turning to Joe Biden, Trump accused his Democratic challenger of wanting to "listen to Dr. Fauci" — a riff on an apparent attack on Saturday in which the president said Biden will "listen to the scientists" if elected.
- Trump also questioned whether CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, whom the president calls "Fredo," really had the coronavirus. Cuomo tested positive for the virus in late March.