Bloomberg coronavirus message to air on primetime TV after billionaire buys 3 minutes on CBS, NBC

Bloomberg coronavirus message to air on primetime TV after billionaire buys 3 minutes on CBS, NBC

Billionaire presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg released an “Address to the Nation” Saturday on the coronavirus outbreak, with plans to air the video on primetime TV Sunday night.

The three-minute-long spot, already posted online, shows Bloomberg in an office with an American flag in the background, appearing to strive for a White House visual effect.

“At times like this, it’s the job of the president to reassure the public that he or she is taking all the necessary steps to protect the health and wellbeing of every citizen,” Bloomberg says, referring to the outbreak.

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“That requires putting politics and partisanship aside,” he adds later.

The video — scheduled to air around 8: 30 p.m. on CBS and NBC — came on the same day that Bloomberg’s rivals in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination were competing in the South Carolina primary – the last of four early races that Bloomberg, a late entrant, chose to skip.

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Instead, Bloomberg will finally face voters’ verdicts in this week’s “Super Tuesday” elections in 14 states.

Also Saturday, Bloomberg posted Twitter messages criticizing President Trump’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak, accusing Trump of calling the matter a “hoax” – a term that was also attributed to the president in several media stories.

But on Saturday the Trump 2020 Campaign pushed back on those reports as being “massively dishonest,” arguing some news outlets had distorted what the president said at a Thursday rally in South Carolina. The campaign claims Trump described Democrats’ politicizing of the outbreak as a “new hoax” that was following their failed impeachment effort, and was not dismissing the outbreak itself.

On Saturday the Trump administration announced new restrictions on travelers arriving from countries most affected by coronavirus, such as China and Iran, and the president hinted that new restrictions might also take effect along the U.S.-Mexico border.

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The travel limits were announced three days after Trump placed Vice President Mike Pence in charge of coordinating U.S. efforts against the virus, and on the same day that health officials in Washington state confirmed that the first fatality on U.S. soil linked to the outbreak had occurred in their state. (Another American had died previously while in China.)

In his video, Bloomberg touts his experience in emergency management, noting he first took office soon after 9/11 and dealt with the aftermath of that attack as well as subsequent crises such as “a hurricane, a blackout, attempted terror attacks, the West Nile virus and swine flu.”

The price the candidate paid the networks for the airtime was not immediately known.

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