Sanders Hammers Trump Over Coronavirus On ‘Meet the Press’


President Donald Trump has not exactly won many new fans with his handling of the Coronavirus, which has been reported in 32 states (and Washington D.C.) as of early this Sunday and infected more than 400 people in the U.S., killing 19. During a Meet the Press appearance this weekend, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) harshly criticized Trump’s response to the growing illness, which has included at least as much complaining about those covering the facts of his administration as other actually important elements. Just this Sunday morning, Trump claimed that the “sad” fake news was supposedly getting things wrong — he didn’t say exactly what, though.

As NBC reports:

‘Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) says his coronavirus response would be “very different” from President Trump’s. @BernieSanders : “Unlike Trump, I believe in science.”‘

Trump has definitely made his commitment to basic science repeatedly seem very questionable at best. For instance, he’s dismissed reports about the looming effects of climate change that’ve come out of his own administration, and this Coronavirus situation reveals a time when that detachment from basic scientific principle becomes potentially dangerous. During one recent interview on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show, Trump even suggested that those infected with the Coronavirus could simply go to work if they wished — but that’s far from true! The disease is very contagious, and it could be very dangerous for immunocompromised populations.

During his time on Sunday television this weekend, Sanders also addressed the question of whether or not presidential candidates — including Trump, not just those on the Democratic side — should reconsider holding large rallies considering the documented community spread of the Coronavirus. Trump — seemingly forever committed to his ego — has already said that he would not cancel any rallies because of the virus.

Sanders offered a different perspective. He explained:

‘We are talking to public health officials all over this country, and obviously what is important to us is to protect the health of the American people. This is an issue, obviously, not just for our campaign. This is an issue for the National Basketball Association — it’s an issue for every organization across this country that has large events — so all I can tell you is that it is an issue that we are looking at, and we’re talking to public health officials.’


That’s a kind of logic that’s been absent from the president’s own response to the situation. Trump’s complaints about media coverage of the situation, even as Americans have been getting sick and dying, have stretched over a period of weeks on end at this point. And his attention to media coverage is driving administration response — reportedly, he wanted to keep a cruise ship with infected passengers out at sea just to keep domestic disease numbers down.

The disease is well-positioned as a 2020 presidential campaign issue — especially since Trump keeps politicizing it, with complaints like his Sunday tweet:

‘We have a perfectly coordinated and fine tuned plan at the White House for our attack on CoronaVirus. We moved VERY early to close borders to certain areas, which was a Godsend. V.P. is doing a great job. The Fake News Media is doing everything possible to make us look bad. Sad!’

Observers aren’t going to take the guy seriously who said he’s “never understood wind.”