White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah and ABC host Jonathan Karl clashed in a Twitter dispute Sunday after the host accused White House officials of refusing to allow Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID), or other COVID-19 task force members to give media interviews.
Speaking at the start of his show on Sunday morning, Karl began by saying that ABC had hoped to speak to Fauci about the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus, at the White House.
“He was more than willing to join us, but the White House wouldn’t allow you to hear from the nation’s leading expert on coronavirus,” the host continued. “In fact, they wouldn’t allow any of the medical experts on the president’s own coronavirus task force to appear on this show.”
Later on Twitter, Karl repeated his comments in a post, saying that the White House would now allow Fauci to speak to ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday.
“In fact, the White House press office would not allow anyone on the President’s task force to be interviewed,” he wrote. “Quite remarkable that they would muzzle the health experts in the middle of a pandemic.”
Less than an hour later, Farrah responded by denouncing Karl’s allegations as “false,” saying that Fauci has made multiple media appearances in recent days, including on PBS Newshour and NBC.
FALSE. 1) Dr Fauci has been doing media all week – appearing on PBS Newshour & NBC’s Andrea Mitchell
3 days ago. 2) not getting your desired guest does not = the WH trying to “muzzle” anyone. This narrative is tired. 3) @jonkarl didn’t request any other member of the task force. https://t.co/C6UZciVO26
— Alyssa Farah (@Alyssafarah) October 11, 2020
In a Twitter post directed to the ABC host, Farrah said that just because he wasn’t able to secure his “desired guest,” it does not mean that the White House was attempting to “muzzle anyone.”
She added that Karl did not request any other members of the White House COVID-19 task force.
Karl responded to Farah’s remarks, saying: “You are not telling the truth and you know it.”
“I sent you more than one email and called you several times,” he continued. “Do you want me to put out more emails? Alternatively, you could acknowledge your mistake and apologize.”
Shortly later, he shared screenshots which appear to show an email he had previously addressed to the White House Communications Director asking if Fauci or another COVID-19 task force member be allowed to appear on ABC’s show.
“You’re right Jon, I missed one email in a thousand I receive a day,” Farah added. “Dr. Fauci has sure been on a lot of TV this week for someone being “muzzled” by @WhiteHouse. CNN new day CNN cuomo MSNBC Andrea Mitchell PBS Newshour AP multimedia interview CBS News Radio Cc: @jonkarl.”
The Epoch Times contacted the White House for comment, but didn’t immediately hear back.