President Donald Trump accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of trying to politicize the coronavirus outbreak with hyperbolic criticism of his response to dealing with the virus.
The president dismissed comments by the “incompetent” California Democrat during a news conference at the White House on Wednesday with officials of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
(Source: Fox News)
Trump sought to address fears about a larger outbreak of the virus in the U.S., insisting that aggressive measures he ordered at the outset have minimized the nation’s exposure so far even as there have been more than 81,000 cases reported around the world, mainly in China.
“Because of all we’ve done, the risk to the American people remains very low,” Trump said. “We’re ready to adapt, and we’re ready to do whatever we have to.”
The president was asked during Wednesday’s press conference about Pelosi’s comments that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about on the issue, and he was clear that the Democrat leader did not care about the American people.
“I think Speaker Pelosi’s incompetent,” Trump said.
“She lost the Congress once. I think she’s going to lose it again. She lifted my poll numbers up ten points – I never thought I would see that so quickly,” he added.
“I think she’s not thinking about the country,” Trump continued. “Instead of making a statement like that, she should be saying we have to work together because we have a big problem, potentially. And maybe it’s going to be a very little problem – I hope that it’s going to be a very little problem – but we have to work together.”
The president suggested Pelosi “should go back to her district and clean it up.”
Trump came under criticism from Democrats for his $2.5 billion request from Congress to help combat the threat of the coronavirus. Pelosi slammed the requested aid as “long overdue and completely inadequate to the scale of this emergency” in a statement Monday.
Instead, Pelosi declared the House would present “a strong, strategic funding package that fully addresses the scale and seriousness of this public health crisis.”
Our state and local governments need serious funding to be ready to respond effectively to any outbreak in the U.S. The President should not be raiding money that Congress has appropriated for other life-or-death public health priorities.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) February 25, 2020
In a proposal that more than triples Trump’s funding request, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer advanced an $8.5 billion coronavirus plan. The New York Democrat’s proposal would allot $4.5 billion for the Department of Health and Human Services to combat a U.S. outbreak while earmarking another $2 billion to reimburse states for any funds spent in dealing with the virus. In addition, Schumer’s plan includes $1 billion to develop and manufacture a vaccine and $1 billion in aid to foreign countries to help battle coronavirus.
Trump called out “Cryin’ Chuck Schumer” during Wednesday’s remarks, noting that Democrats are feigning outrage over the funding rather than working together on a plan to prepare the U.S. for a potentially larger outbreak.
Our proposal was put together after hearing from public health experts and looking at historical precedents for when Congress funded fights to combat spread of serious diseases
In 2009, Congress appropriated over $7B in emergency funding for the H1N1 flu
Congress must act fast https://t.co/H33WScH2hy
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) February 26, 2020
“This is the first time I’ve ever been told we should take more. Usually, it’s we have to take less,” Trump said. “We should be working together. He shouldn’t be making statements like that because it’s so bad for the country.”
He exposed the motives behind the demands and theatrics of Democrats.
“She’s trying to create a panic and there is no reason to panic,” Trump said of Pelosi, while recognizing the “professionals” flanking him at the podium, including Vice President Mike Pence who will be heading up the White House response to the outbreak.
“All they are trying to do is get a political advantage, but this isn’t about political advantage. We’re all trying to do the right thing,” he said.
“They shouldn’t be saying, ‘This is terrible. President Trump isn’t asking for enough money.’ How stupid a thing to say? If they want to give us more money, well that’s okay, we’ll take more money,” Trump continued.
“But they shouldn’t demean the people on the stage that are the finest in the world,” he added. “They’re not demeaning me. They’re demeaning the greatest health care professionals in the world.”
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