New York, NY, April 9, 2020 – The vice president’s office is declining to make top public health officials available to CNN for interviews in an attempt to coerce the network to air the entirety of the president’s daily briefings. Suzanne Nossel, CEO of PEN America, said the following:

“The White House’s attempt to swap access for coverage is a wanton act of coercion in defiance of press freedom. Politicians must not be allowed to dictate how the news is covered, period.  Using Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx as pawns in a campaign to force the coverage the White House denigrates these experts, silences their voices, and denies the American public access to information they need and deserve. This latest outrage is yet another reminder of why PEN America has sued to challenge the President’s threats and acts of retaliation against journalists and the media, and why a court is allowing our case to move forward.”

Read more about PEN America’s lawsuit against the president here.