House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is sick of Republican fumbling amidst the Coronavirus pandemic. Following both President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) insisting that the Democrat-led impeachment proceedings distracted the federal government from the Coronavirus threat in the early weeks and months of the year, she suggested this week on CNN that Trump and McConnell simply aren’t capable of actually handling the Coronavirus crisis with serious and effective gravity.
It’s important to note — despite GOP claims of Democratic distractions, Trump called the Coronavirus concern a “hoax” weeks after impeachment was completely over.
Asked about the GOP excuses, Pelosi insisted:
‘I think that’s an admission that perhaps the president and the majority leader cannot handle the job. We have a life-and-death situation in our country, and they should not try to hide behind an excuse for why they did not take action. But it does admit that they did not take action… Right now, we have to work together to get the job done, and all of these statistics that we are hearing… all of that loss of life is tragic for our country. To see the big numbers, though, we have to see what we can do to stop the growth of that number of people dying.’
At a press conference this week, the White House Coronavirus response team revealed a model that projected that as many as 100,000 or more Americans could die from the Coronavirus before the crisis is concluded. Over 4,500 Americans have already lost their lives from the virus, and that number is quickly growing.
In commentary offered over the weekend, Pelosi called the president’s own behavior “deadly.” While proclaiming virus concern to be a “hoax” publicly, privately he did little to nothing to help shore up U.S. defenses against the virus as the crisis grew, and now, the full weight of the pandemic is here and resources are still struggling to get up to par. Coronavirus testing shortages continue in some areas, for instance. Trump spent weeks meandering around before even declared a national emergency reportedly because he was concerned about the effect that declaration would have on the public image of his administration.
To help mitigate these issues, Pelosi has already been discussing a new Coronavirus relief funding package, which would be the fourth such bill. Priorities for that bill appear to include support for U.S. infrastructure and support for provisions like expanded vote-by-mail, which would help mitigate the spread of the virus via keeping people away from mingling at polling places.
This week on CNN, Pelosi also advocated for Trump to invoke the Defense Production Act much more broadly than he’s done so far. The act provides the president with the power to order the production of the medical supplies that authorities have been seeking around the country. Trump, in contrast, has ludicrously suggested that medical personnel might be hoarding supplies and supposedly may not even need what they’re after, even as the cases and hospitalizations continue to grow at a dramatic rate across the country.