Amidst the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., which has claimed the lives of over 2,200 Americans and counting as of early Sunday morning, President Donald Trump has begun clamoring to get parts of the economy opened back up. Across the country, businesses have closed in an attempt to stem the spread of the Coronavirus, and that sparked a major hit from the stock market to the personal financial states of millions of Americans. If the virus spreads unchecked, the economy could be forced to shut back down because of widespread illness, and this weekend, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) hammered Trump for sticking to “deadly” options for essentially every step of the way during this pandemic.
During an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union in which host Jake Tapper seemingly hosted via videoconference from his home in order to comply with social distancing demands, Pelosi commented:
‘This is such a very, very sad time for us, so we should be taking every precaution. What the president has done, his denial in the beginning was deadly. His continued delay in getting equipment to where it’s needed is deadly. And now, I think the best thing to do would be to prevent more loss of life, rather than open things up, because we just don’t know. We have to have testing, testing, testing — that’s what we said from the start — before we can evaluate what the nature of it is in some of these other regions.’
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) March 29, 2020
It’s unclear if Trump had any sort of scientific consideration in mind when making his recent pronouncements that he wants to see at least some areas of the country’s economy opened back up soon. Pelosi noted that she does not know “what the scientists are saying to him,” although publicly, top public health officials like Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health have, in fact, contradicted Trump’s idea of abruptly re-opening the country. Fauci has insisted that the virus itself sets the timeline and an arbitrary deadline is just that — arbitrary. In contrast, Trump has repeatedly sought to tout and protect the stock market.
His dismissal of concerns about re-opening the country comes on the heels of his previous denials of the Coronavirus’s severity, Pelosi notes. In the early weeks of the crisis, he called concern over the virus a “hoax,” and he also claimed — without evidence — that the illness would soon leave the U.S. and cases would wind down to zero. They’re now at almost 125,000 in the U.S. Pelosi wants to know what the president knew and when he knew it, suggesting that he contradicted private counsel from public health professionals in his own administration in the name of political expedience.
Pelosi worked recently to help pass the huge Coronavirus relief package that provides financial assistance to struggling businesses and workers around the country. That bill is already signed into law, and benefits should be in development.
That contrasts with the president’s dismissal of requests for assistance from those he doesn’t like. At a recent public press conference, he said that he told Vice President Mike Pence not to call struggling governors back if they weren’t “appreciative.”
Biden–who is doing well now on CNN– doesn't know it, but he won Michigan tonight. Trump said he told Pence not to call back governors like Whitmer who weren't "appreciative."The ad writes itself: "President Trump put himself and his pettiness ahead of Michigan, costing lives."
— Jonathan Alter (@jonathanalter) March 28, 2020