CNBC Anchors Andrew Ross Sorkin And Joe Kernen Engage In On-Air Clash Over Coronavirus Toll

Joe Kernen Andrew Ross Sorkin
(L-R) Joe Kernen and Andrew Ross Sorkin CNBC; Shutterstock

CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin and Joe Kernen clashed on air Wednesday over the toll of the coronavirus, a fight unusual even for the standards of talking head-heavy cable news.

Kernen had accused Sorkin of being “panicked” about COVID-19 and its fallout. “You panicked about the market, panicked about COVID, panicked about the ventilators, panicked about the PPE, panicked about ever going out again, panicked if we’d ever get back to normal,” he said.

But Sorkin shot back, “Joseph, you didn’t panic about anything!” Sorkin said. “100,000 people died, Joe, and all you did was try to help your friend the president. That’s what you did. Every single morning on this show. Every single morning on this show, you have used and abused your position, Joe. You have used and abused your position.”

“That is totally unfair,” Kernen said. “I am trying to help investors keep their cool. Keep their heads. And as it turned out, that is what they should have done.”

“Do the news,” Sorkin shot back.

“I wasn’t arguing to sell your stocks, Joseph. I was arguing about people’s lives,” Sorkin said, later adding, “I am begging you to do the news, Joseph, please.”

A spokesperson for the network did not immediately return a request for comment.

Sorkin co-anchors Squawk Box along with Kernen and Becky Quick.

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