CNN Host Don Lemon and John Kasich Get Into Heated Exchange Over Donald Trump's COVID-19 Address: 'Let Me Talk'

CNN host Don Lemon and former Ohio Governor John Kasich clashed over President Donald Trump's COVID-19 address on Wednesday night.

The pair got into a heated exchange on CNN Tonight with Don Lemon that eventually descended into a shouting match after Kasich said the president's address was "fine" and struck a serious tone on the coronavirus outbreak.

President Trump announced last night that travel restrictions would be placed on people coming from Europe's Schengen countries to the United States to keep COVID-19 from spreading further.

The rules due to come into effect on Friday at midnight and last for 30 days will not apply to U.K. citizens or cargo and trade items.

"The European Union failed to take the same precautions and restrict travel from China and other hotspots," Trump said. "As a result, a large number of new clusters in the United States were seeded by travelers from Europe."

When Kasich was asked for his thoughts on what Lemon called "mixed messages" in President Trump's Oval Office speech, Kasich said, "I watched the address tonight, and I thought it was fine. I thought he did fine. What I saw tonight was what I anticipated before he delivered the address.

Oh man!

You gotta check out this back-and-forth between Don Lemon and John Kasich in which Lemon straight-up admonishes Kasich for thinking Trump's address was fine.

"Can I finish now?"

"No, you can't, John!"

— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) March 12, 2020

"'Mr. President, you've got to be serious, you've got to warn the country, we have to move forward. Just stick to the script and read what's on there.' And that's exactly what he did."

He went on to note that he had previously been critical of the administration's response to COVID-19, but added that he was "glad" the president made his address on Wednesday night.

Lemon later hit out at Kasich's position, arguing that the script read by the commander-in-chief was "wrong" because it supposedly had to be clarified.

"I just got to say, if the president came out to calm people's fears, he didn't do a good job of it because they've had to come back and clarify it several times," Lemon said. "This has been going on long enough for them to get it straight. "We need straight, accurate information from this president and from this administration, and we're not getting it."

The CNN host then went on to accuse Kasich of "tip-toeing around it," repeating his claim that the president didn't get his address "right."

"First of all, he read it," Kasich said. "And somebody who wrote — look I don't want to get into that —"

Lemon interrupted, "Why not? That's why you're here, to talk about the president's address."

"Can I finish?" Kasich shouted back, later asking the host to let him talk. Lemon told him he could not finish. "Oh I can't talk?" Kasich said.

Lemon told his guest that he did not want him to "go on and deflect" the subject away from the president's address.

"You said that someone else wrote it: he's the president and even if someone else wrote it, it should be right," the CNN host added.

The former Ohio Governor explained that he was trying to tell Lemon that "we got to move down the road," and said "looking back" did not fix things, prompting Lemon to point out the address took place just hours earlier.

Don Lemon at CNN Debate
Don Lemon speaks to the crowd attending the Democratic Presidential Debate at the Fox Theatre July 31, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. Scott Olson/Getty Images

When he was not being interrupted, Kasich said, "I thought he did fine. That's what I thought. I thought he had the right tone, and he no longer played around with 'we're going to blame Democrats.'

"I hope he's trying to move forward because he understands the seriousness of this situation."

The ex-Governor later added: "I don't think that the tone he showed tonight takes away from some clarification. I think he set a serious tone, that's what I wanted out fo him for a long time, and I think we got it."

Newsweek has contacted the White House for comment on Lemon's remarks and will update this article with any response.

At the time of writing, Don Lemon was at 12 on the U.S. Twitter trending charts as he featured in more than 27,000 tweets in the wake of his heated exchange with Kasich.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States has risen to more than 1,300 according to the Johns Hopkins tracker. A total of 38 deaths and 8 recoveries have been recorded across the country thus far.

A little more than 126,000 cases of the new coronavirus have been recorded worldwide, with 68,289 recoveries and 4,638 deaths reported as of 4:30 ET this morning.