Trump's chief of staff, Mike Mulvaney, has falsely claimed the media is only covering the outbreak to hurt Trump's presidency.
From Feb. 28 testimony in the House Foreign Affairs Committee:
REP. TED LIEU (D-CA): Donald Trump's chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told the Conservative Political Action Conference that the coronavirus was the hoax of the day. Do you agree with Donald Trump's chief of staff, Mulvaney, that the coronavirus is the hoax of the day?
MIKE POMPEO: The State Department is doing everything it can to protect American citizens around the –
LIEU: Do you believe coronavirus is the hoax of the day?
POMPEO: I'm not going to comment on what others are saying.
LIEU: I'm just asking you: Do you believe the coronavirus is a hoax?
POMPEO: I'm just telling you what the Secretary of State's doing.
LIEU: Do you believe the coronavirus is a hoax?
POMPEO: We're working to keep people safe.
LIEU: You can't even answer that question? It's not even a "gotcha" question.
POMPEO: It's a gotcha moment, it's not useful.
LIEU: Is the coronavirus a hoax, can't you just answer that question?
POMPEO: We're taking it seriously –
LIEU: At 12:15 today, are you yourself in fact speaking at CPAC? At 12:15 today, are you speaking at CPAC?
POMPEO: Yes, I am.
LIEU: So, you can only give two hours to this bipartisan group of members of Congress and instead of answering questions on life and death issues, from a bipartisan group of America's representatives, you're going to go talk to a special interest group?
LIEU: You, sir, represent all Americans, not a special interest group and it is shameful you can't even answer basic questions. I yield back.