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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appeared to politicize President Donald Trump’s positive COVID-19 test result by criticizing his pre-infection behavior.
In an interview with MSBNC’s Stephanie Ruhle, the California Democrat said she is hoping the president recovers but then made sure to point out that he often shuns masks in public, as she spoke to the outlet mask-less.
“Well, of course, as with everyone, we all received that news with great sadness,” she began. “I always pray for the president and his family that they’re safe. Continue to do so more intensified, and I know that he’ll have the best of care, and that’s what we want for everyone in our country.”
Continuing, she said, “I hope this will be a moment where people understand that what we have in our HEROES bill, and have had in our conversations over and over is we must have testing, tracing, treatment. We must have spatial distancing, we must be wearing our masks, we must have sanitation because it can help flush the virus and stop the spread.”
Despite the widespread use of masks, which has been increasingly mandated by cities, states, and companies now for months, the virus continues to spread, leading many to question the science and wisdom of the requirement.
In addition to President Trump, first lady Melania Trump, top adviser Hope Hicks, and Republican National Committee Chairwoman Rona McDaniel have tested positive for the virus, though none of them are suffering any serious symptoms.
“So many now that people who see the president of the United States with all the protection that he has, and the first lady, still having this exposure, it might be, as you say, a learning experience,” Pelosi told Ruhle.
“But more than learning it has to be something that is acted upon,” she said.
“This is tragic. It’s very sad. But it also is something that, again, going into crowds, unmasked and all the rest was sort of a brazen invitation for something like this to happen. Sad that it did, but nonetheless, hopeful that it will be a transition to a saner approach to what this virus is all about,” Pelosi added.
Earlier this month, Fox News released surveillance footage of Pelosi — who has called for a national mask mandate — not wearing one at a hair salon in San Francisco that was supposed to be closed as “non-essential.”
Pelosi would go on to claim that she was “set up,” though she did not explain initially why she chose to ignore the city’s coronavirus salon restriction.
She also demanded that the salon owner apologize.
“It was clearly a setup,” Pelosi said at the time. “I take responsibility for falling for a setup by a neighborhood salon that I’ve gone to for years. And that’s really what it is. I think that this salon owes me an apology for setting me up.”
In response to Pelosi violating her order, San Francisco Mayor London Breed, a Democrat, appeared to shift blame to people who were calling out the Speaker’s hypocrisy.
“It’s unfortunate that this conversation has kinda blown up in the way that it has and distracted us from the real issue,” she said, instead referencing “everything happening in this country,” and “the fact that we basically have a dictator in charge of running this country, and we have our Speaker Nancy Pelosi working day and night to try and fight against the challenges we have with the White House.”
Trump, by comparison, has resisted calls to impose coronavirus mandates nationwide including one requiring the use of a mask, preferring instead to adopt the federalism principle of leaving such decisions to local and state leaders.
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