Sen. Marco Rubio criticized press coverage of the coronavirus crisis on Twitter Sunday.
“Some in our media can’t contain their glee & delight in reporting that the U.S. has more #CoronaVirus cases than #China,” the Florida Republican wrote. “Beyond being grotesque, its bad journalism. We have NO IDEA how many cases China really has but without any doubt its significantly more than why they admit to.”
Rubio’s tweet was slammed by many, especially journalists.
“This is exceedingly ugly. Probably just about every journalist writing about this has someone they love who would be at risk of dying if they caught it,” The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake wrote in a tweet.
“I personally think about that all the time,” Blake added, before conceding that “The point about China’s #’s being unreliable is fair; the rest is just awful.”
Rosie Gray of BuzzFeedNews wrote on Twitter, “The idea that journalists are cheering on the coronavirus pandemic is extremely stupid. Our industry is about to get devastated by the economic downturn and journalists are getting sick just like everyone else. No one wants this to be happening.”
There was widespread expression of similar sentiments, with The Hive’s Michael Calderon tweeting that “Journalists living in NYC, I can tell you, are not gleeful. We hear sirens more all the time. We know our hospitals are overrun and people are dying every day. We’re worrying about the health of our friends and families while working hard to cover this crisis.”