‘He’s the president-elect, sir’: Fox’s Chris Wallace corrects Trump health secretary on Biden’s title

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Fox News anchor Chris Wallace scolded Trump HHS Secretary Alex Azar about President-elect Joe Biden’s proper title. (Getty Images)
Fox News anchor Chris Wallace scolded Trump HHS Secretary Alex Azar about President-elect Joe Biden’s proper title. (Getty Images)

Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace interrupted Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar mid-interview on Sunday to remind the Trump Cabinet official that Joe Biden is in fact the president-elect, and should no longer be referred to by his previous title of “vice president.”

Mr Azar was downplaying the significance of Mr Biden announcing he will publicly advocate for all Americans to wear masks in the early days of his presidency, saying the Trump administration has been promoting mask-wearing for months to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We welcome Vice President Biden to the club,” Mr Azar said . “Since the middle of April the president's guidelines have called for —”

Mr Wallace broke in: “He’s the president-elect, sir. The president-elect.”

The HHS secretary continued touting the current administration’s record on mask-wearing.

“The President has called masks ‘patriotic acts.’ Every one of his top advisers, we are out there saying, ‘Wear your mask,’” Mr Azar said.

Mr Wallace clarified in a follow-up comment that Mr Trump’s history of wearing masks — and promoting them to the public — is checkered at best.

He also reiterated his point that Mr Biden will take office in January, which Mr Azar and hundreds of other Republicans in Washington have refused to publicly acknowledge.

“First of all, it's President-elect Joe Biden, Secretary Azar,” Mr Wallace said.

“Secondly, the fact is the president said on the first day, April 3rd, he wasn't going to wear a mask. He didn't wear a mask in public for three months, until July. And just last night at that rally in Georgia, not only didn't he wear a mask, but I was watching the rally — thousands of people packed together — none I could see wearing a mask. That is a direct violation of what the CDC and you are recommending,” the Fox News anchor said.

Watch: Trump lawyer Giuliani tests positive for coronavirus

At a rally in Georgia on Saturday, Mr Trump appeared to acknowledge that his time in the White House was drawing to a close, although he continued to spout the same debunked and baseless conspiracy theories about a stolen election, claiming he was the true victor.

The outgoing president was in Georgia ostensibly to rally support for GOP Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, one of whom must win their respective runoff races to clinch a Republican majority in the Senate next Congress.

Mr Biden will be sworn in as the 46th US president on 20 January.

The inauguration will be mostly virtual, the president-elect announced over the weekend.

Mr Biden said in an interview with CNN on Saturday that while he did not personally care whether his bitter rival was present, he felt Mr Trump's attendance was “important in a sense that we are able to demonstrate at the end of this chaos — that he's created — that there is a peaceful transfer of power with the competing parties standing there, shaking hands, and moving on.”

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