- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 27, 2020

CNN host Chris Cuomo defended his infamous giant Q-tip skit as comic relief for the country during an off-the-rails interview with Trump campaign spokesperson Tim Murtaugh.

Mr. Cuomo was pilloried in May after he broke out a giant cotton swab while discussing COVID-19 testing with his brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The two cracked up laughing as the CNN host held up the giant swab, saying it was the only one that could “fit up that double-barrel shotgun that you have mounted on the front of your pretty face.”

Both Cuomos were accused of making light of the pandemic as thousands of Americans continued to die from the coronavirus.

Mr. Murtaugh brought up the comedy routine during a contentious CNN appearance Monday night in which the two men talked over each other for the majority of 13 minutes.

“The president engaged the private sector and the government to create the equipment, the PPE, the gowns, the gloves and the ventilators that we need,” Mr. Murtaugh said. “And so, listen, Chris, I find it curious, speaking of your brother, you’re going to ask me these self-righteous questions and talk about people taking it seriously.

“Does this look like a couple of guys who were taking it seriously?” he said, holding up a screenshot of the May segment. “You had your brother on for the Cuomo Brothers Comedy Hour, though joking about the size of the Q-tip that you would need for his nose to get a test.”

“Yes, I did,” Mr. Cuomo fired back. “It was funny as hell.”

Mr. Cuomo later defended the segment as comfort for a country in turmoil.

“I will cut you off,” he warned Mr. Murtaugh. “You are not going to flood the zone on this show. Now, you took your swing. It missed. So now let’s discuss. That’s the best you got, is that my brother didn’t take COVID seriously? Are you kidding yourself? That I made fun with him in a time of such acute distress?”

“You’re the one who lectured me with a picture of my brother and I, which was very funny, and at a time that the country was hurting,” he later stated. “And the country needed comfort.”

“I don’t think it was that funny,” Mr. Murtaugh responded.

“Oh, I don’t know that you’re a good judge of humor because you think what the president is saying at these rallies is funny,” Mr. Cuomo said. “I’ve seen you laugh about it. And he’s telling people to mock the fact that they’re putting their own health at risk time and again.”

Mr. Cuomo added later, “You want my brother to be the story, because you can’t handle Trump.”

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