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To: MSNBC CEO Phil Griffin and CNN CEO Jeff Zucker
Tell MSNBC and CNN to Stop Airing Trump's COVID-19 Press Conferences Live
As the coronavirus pandemic intensifies, the need for accurate information has only become more crucial. The press conferences have become a source of misinformation as Donald Trump uses the platform to promote his own personal interests. In fact, as Margaret Sullivan has argued (https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/media/the-media-must-stop-live-broadcasting-trumps-dangerous-destructive-coronavirus-briefings/2020/03/21/b8a2a440-6b7c-11ea-9923-57073adce27c_story.html), these daily press briefings have become more like campaign rallies than information sessions, and medical professionals like Dr. Anthony Fauci of the Coronavirus Task Force are forced to clean up after Trump's mistakes.
Why is this important?
Broadcasting these events live is a public health risk. Trump is feeding his viewers with disinformation and misinformation. It is impossible to fact-check this information in real time, and viewers are likely to engage in dangerous, risky behaviors if they listen only to Trump's public statements.
He is also using this platform to campaign for reelection by promoting his "brand" as someone who stands up to the news media. By broadcasting these segments, you are feeding into an unhealthy dynamic in which Trump is able to further undermine trust in the news media. By carrying these briefings live, you are complicit in spreading dangerous lies and division: both are killing us.