CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin and Squawk Box co-anchor Joe Kernen sparred from their socially distanced locations Wednesday morning, exchanging barbs about their opposing perceptions of the coronavirus crisis.
The testy exchange began to go off the rails when Kernen accused Sorkin of excessive pessimism about the market during the pandemic. Sorkin defended his skepticism and accused Kernen of being wrong about some things himself. “Joe, you missed it 100 percent on the way down too,” a highly agitated Sorkin said. “You missed it 100 percent on the way down. And you missed 100,000 deaths.”
Kernen then accused Sorkin of repeatedly panicking. “You panicked about the market, you panicked about COVID, you panicked about the ventilators, you panicked about the PPE, you panicked about ever going out again,” Kernen said. “What good is that?”
That’s when Sorkin got loud. “And you didn’t panic about anything!” he said. “One hundred thousand people died. One hundred thousand people died, Joe, and all you did was try to help your friend, the president. Every single morning on this show. You abused your position, Joe.”
Kernen called Sorkin’s accusations “totally unfair.” He added: “I’m just trying to help investors keep their cool.”