Pelosi Steps Up To Lead With Live TV Message To America

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It’s been months since the last Coronavirus-connected economic relief package from Congress, and negotiations between Congress and the White House have proceeded in stops and starts during this period. Some may seek to cast the blame for the delay on Congressional Democrats and leave it at that — as President Donald Trump himself has done — but that’s not the whole story. As House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) discussed during a Sunday morning appearance on Face The Nation on CBS, the White House’s side has repeatedly failed to adequately grasp the seriousness of what must be done in response to the crisis.

While Pelosi and her allies have tried to finely tune a plan to meet the needs of the American people, who have suffered huge job losses and similar calamities due to the pandemic, the White House and its allies have frequently focused on trying to push ahead of the virus without ensuring that necessary resources are in place. They’ve sometimes acted like moving forward is simply a matter of political will, as if Democratic leaders are simply plotting to make life difficult for Republicans via their efforts to keep Americans save and alive.

Asked if a recent tweet from the president pushing for relief meant that her side and the White House had come to an agreement or are close to an agreement, Pelosi told CBS host Margaret Brennan:

‘It means that we want to see that they will agree on what we need to do to crush the virus, so that we can open our economy and open our schools safely… What I said to the airline executives in a public statement is, don’t fire people, you know that relief is on the way, and it will be retroactive, so let’s keep them employed, because separate from other industries, it takes months or years to be recertified.’

Asked if an agreement could come this week, Pelosi added:

‘It just depends on if they understand what we have to do to crush the virus. You can’t just say — we need to do something, but we’re gonna let the virus run free.’

The White House has frequently attempted to take a hands-off approach to dealing with the virus. At times, for example, they have deferred responsibility for a response to individual states.

Watch Pelosi’s comments below:

During her CBS appearance, Pelosi also addressed Trump’s recent positive Coronavirus test results and related issues, like the line of succession for the presidency. (After the vice president, the speaker of the House is next in line.)

Pelosi commented:

‘We’re getting our information the way that everyone else is — in the media. But in terms of the succession, that’s an ongoing process. Sadly at this time it comes to the forefront. But let me just say on this Sunday morning, our prayers are with the President and First Lady and all those who surround them.’

Watch her comments below:

Trump went to Walter Reed Medical Center following his diagnosis, although the stay has been characterized by White House officials as out of an abundance of caution.