This Sunday afternoon, as the United States and world continued to grapple with the Coronavirus outbreak, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to complain for the innumerable time in a row about those who’ve dared to investigate his team’s duly documented wrongdoing. This time, he revealed that he’s considering a full pardon for his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to investigators during the Russia investigation but whose case has hit numerous snags. In response, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) publicly chastised the president for his self-obsession even in the midst of a crisis.
‘Mr. President, keep your focus on the current crisis. The delay in testing and your failure to lead are already costing us dearly. Your attacks on the independence of the justice system and rewarding of cronies who lied for you can wait. Incompetence kills.’
Mr. President, keep your focus on the current crisis. The delay in testing and your failure to lead are already costing us dearly.
Your attacks on the independence of the justice system and rewarding of cronies who lied for you can wait.
Incompetence kills. https://t.co/uebbLzWBtE
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) March 15, 2020
In an ideal world, one member of the government doesn’t need to remind another to, you know, focus on the overwhelming crisis at hand — but here we are, with the constantly spouting off Trump at the helm. Trump has, throughout this situation and despite claims otherwise from his team, belittled the legitimacy of concern about what’s going on. At one rally — which was not that long ago! — he called concern over the virus outbreak a “hoax.” Reportedly, he even delayed formally declaring a national emergency because of concern about how it might affect the public image of his team. A public health situation is about more than optics! An earlier emergency declaration could have freed up extra resources to deal with the crisis sooner.
Trump has consistently refused to take more short term issues seriously throughout this situation. Although it’s been on his own watch that officially-led testing lagged for weeks on end, he insisted at a press conference over the weekend that he doesn’t “take responsibility at all.” He’s now repeatedly claimed without evidence and without many people even having any idea what he’s talking about that testing delays are — somehow — Obama’s fault. Yet, the delays are a problem, because if someone carries the virus undetected, they could more freely spread it to others.
Check out Twitter’s response below: