“Do you not think that Trump has, at least partially, altered his tune and approach precisely because he [is] getting real time feedback for the job he’s done to this point?” someone asked her on Twitter

By Adam Carlson
March 20, 2020 11:13 AM

Megyn Kelly tweeted Wednesday that she was “so sick” of trying to stay informed amid the novel coronavirus pandemic and, instead, in her words, “constantly getting bombarded w/how it’s all Trump’s fault or what Trump is calling the damn virus.”

“Can we focus on what needs to be done right now and play the blame/political game later?” she wrote. “Good Lord.”

“Do you not think that Trump has, at least partially, altered his tune and approach precisely because he [is] getting real time feedback for the job he’s done to this point?” a reporter asked the former Today and Fox News host, 49, on Twitter.

No, she responded. She wrote back, in part: “His media detractors … just make him get his back up.”

Kelly’s original tweet was referring to various controversies around the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus so far.

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This week Trump, 73, adopted a much more serious tone about the pandemic after previously downplaying it compared to the seasonal flu — though health experts say it is much more dangerous if it is allowed to infect as many people — and claiming Democrats were politicizing the virus as a “hoax” to damage him.

On Thursday, however, he said, “It’s an invisible enemy, and it’s been vicious. It’s in over 140 countries, if you can believe that. A hundred and forty countries. So it moves fast; it’s very contagious. But we’ve really stepped up, and a lot of good things are going to happen.”

Many have also criticized the president for choosing to call the new coronavirus the “Chinese virus,” though health officials no longer name illnesses after specific places or with other cultural traits.

From left: Megyn Kelly and President Donald Trump
Jim Spellman/WireImage; Mark Wilson/Getty

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“This may seem like a trivial issue to some, but disease names really do matter to the people who are directly affected,” a World Health Organization official said in 2015. “We’ve seen certain disease names provoke a backlash against members of particular religious or ethnic communities, create unjustified barriers to travel, commerce and trade, and trigger needless slaughtering of food animals. This can have serious consequences for peoples’ lives and livelihoods.”

Kelly had similarly sharp words about the news coverage of the coronavirus last week. “I’m so frustrated right now,” she wrote on March 11, feeling like she couldn’t “trust the media to tell us the truth without inflaming it to hurt Trump … [and] that Trump has misled so many times we no longer know when to trust his word.”

“Even I as a journalist am not sure where to turn for real info on COVID,” she continued.

Ann Curry responded to Kelly on Twitter then, writing, “We’ve all got to work together, share verifiable information and help each other. Politics and misinformation need to take a backseat.”

Curry, 63, pointed Kelly to several public health and media resources.

Kelly’s husband, Douglas, also chimed in, writing, “The point is that many in the media whose job it is to bring that information forward are not honest brokers. Would be nice to have a place to go for a news program and not be fed bs.”

“Concur,” Curry replied. “The public deserves straight reporting, esp. on a story of this magnitude.Meghan is right; it’s frustratingly hard to find.”

As of Friday morning, there were about 12,400 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the U.S. and 195 deaths, according to a New York Times tracker.

To prevent the spread of the virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourages maintaining basic forms of hygiene including careful hand washing, avoiding touching the face, moving away from people who are coughing or sneezing and staying home at signs of illness.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments and visit our coronavirus hub.

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