The New York Times said a senior reporter 'went too far' after he slammed Trump and said the CDC director should resign

  • The New York Times says a reporter who called for the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to resign and slammed the Trump administration "went too far."
  • Appearing on CNN on Tuesday, the science and health reporter Donald G. McNeil Jr. said the US "completely blew it" in the early stages of its coronaviru outbreak and couldn't fault China for it.
  • McNeil also called for the resignation of Robert Redfield as CDC director; you can watch the interview below.
  • The Times later told The Hill McNeil had gone too far with his remarks, adding: "His job is to report the facts and not to offer his own opinions."
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The New York Times says a senior reporter "went too far" in publicly slamming President Donald Trump and calling on the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to step down.

In a Tuesday interview, the science and health reporter Donald G. McNeil Jr. told the CNN host Christiane Amanpour that the US had only itself to blame for a woeful response to the coronavirus outbreak.

"We completely blew it for the first two months of our response," McNeil said. "We were in a 'headless chicken' phase."

"It is the president's fault," he added. "It is not China's fault."

McNeil also called for the resignation of Robert Redfield, the CDC's director.

"We fiddled around for two months," he said. "We had a test on March 5, and it didn't work. We didn't have 10,000 people tested until March 15, so we lost two months there and that was because of incompetent leadership at the CDC."

"It's a great agency, but it's incompetently led, and I think Redfield should resign," he added.

Later Tuesday, The Times said McNeil "went too far" in his remarks.

"His editors have discussed the issue with him to reiterate that his job is to report the facts and not to offer his own opinions," a Times representative told The Hill.

McNeil has worked at The Times in various roles for more than 30 years. He specializes in covering plagues and pestilences and previously covered the AIDS, Ebola, malaria, swine flu, bird flu, and SARS outbreaks for the newspaper.

The Times has presented him as an authoritative voice on the subject of the coronavirus pandemic. He has appeared multiple times on the company's hit podcast "The Daily" to discuss it and has also appeared in advertisements urging people to subscribe to The Times.

"We are confident that his reporting on science and medicine for The Times has been scrupulously fair and accurate," the Times representative told The Hill.

McNeil did not immediately respond to a request for a comment from Business Insider.

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