In late February, as the Coronavirus had long begun emerging around the world including in the United States, President Donald Trump pompously declared at a rally in South Carolina that concern about the virus was a “hoax.” Yet, a new POLITICO report reveals how Republicans in D.C. want to blame the Democrat-led impeachment proceedings against Trump, which concluded weeks prior to that, for the government’s lengthy inaction against the Coronavirus threat. More comprehensive preparation could have helped stave off the currently unfolding and potentially deadly issues of medical supply shortages in hard-hit areas.
Amidst the rush to solve the problems left by so-called planning that’s come up gravely short, Republicans like Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton “fault impeachment, which officially wrapped up on Feb. 5, for distracting their colleagues from early warning signs,” POLITICO explains.
‘It’s unfortunate that during the early days of a global pandemic, the Senate was paralyzed by a partisan impeachment trial.’
What’s unfortunate is that weeks after the impeachment proceedings were over, the president stood in front of a crowd of his fans and declared that Coronavirus concern was a hoax.
For weeks, he consistently asserted that the virus was under control and nothing to be concerned about. He even delayed formally declaring a national emergency over the virus in part because of concern about how that declaration would affect the public image of his administration, despite the fact that an emergency declaration frees up resources that authorities wouldn’t have access to otherwise when developing their Coronavirus response. All of those developments are the “unfortunate” elements here.
POLITICO notes that “many” Democrats point out the absurd red herring of attempting to blame impeachment for governmental inaction. Democrats note that “the House wasn’t even fully briefed on COVID-19 until after the Senate trial was over” and “Republicans, from the president on down, consistently downplayed the threat both publicly and privately” — even as some of them, like North Carolina’s Richard Burr, decided to sell off huge quantities of their stock holdings in an apparent insider trading-driven attempt to avoid the economic disaster suggested by the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Meanwhile, all the way back on February 5 — when impeachment proceedings concluded — Democrats “began pushing for emergency supplemental funds to combat the virus.” Before that, on January 28, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) publicly chastised the president for his inaction on Coronavirus-related issues. She tweeted that “Trump’s approach to keeping us safe from disease outbreaks is a mess,” which seems proven by the current grossly mismatched, chaotic supply of medical equipment around the country amidst the growing pandemic. Trump, lately, has seemed more concerned about his television ratings than solving these issues.
Trump brags about how his press briefings about a deadly pandemic that is killing Americans get ratings comparable to "The Bachelor" or "Monday Night Football" pic.twitter.com/d3WCvQpSDL
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 29, 2020
And recently, Congress has stepped up. Democrats have helped pass three successive rounds of Coronavirus relief funding, including, most recently, provisions like an expansion of unemployment benefits and direct checks to some Americans. This week, the White House announced that their guidelines demanding social distancing would be extended a whole additional month, meaning that the tumult seems likely to continue for at least that much longer.