An MSNBC analyst sparked controversy on Thursday when he claimed that Republicans are attempting to “kill as many people as possible” with COVID-19 while simultaneously trying to ensure survivors “suffer economically and beyond.”
During the segment, Anand Giridharadas also singled out Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) as well as President Donald Trump for the blame, though top Democrats including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) have admitted the party made a conscious decision during the run-up to the November election to delay passage of new coronavirus relief for political gain.
Giridharadas initially blasted “technical talk” that is currently taking place in Washington, D.C., between lawmakers having ongoing discussions about various COVID-relief plans, while praising Pelosi.
“The country is awash in pain right now. Look at that woman’s face,” he said, referencing an earlier clip of a woman under duress from the pandemic’s economic impact. “Listen to her. There are millions of people she speaks for and we’re having these technocratic conversations about committees, this, and that. I understand that,” Giridharadas said.
“The real blame is Mitch McConnell, the Republicans, the president, a party that does not want to help people, that is working, on one side, to actually make sure the pandemic kills as many people as possible, that seems to be the logical consequence of their policy,” he said, without any pushback from the host.
“And then to make sure that all the people who manage to survive it despite their policy suffer economically and beyond,” Giridharadas continued. “But it is also the case that Democrats are not meeting this moment with the muscularity it requires, even the rhetorical muscle required.”
Giridharadas then lamented that Democratic leaders including presidential nominee Joe Biden, Pelosi, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) aren’t discussing the issue of relief forcefully enough to push the GOP into agreeing to their demands.
He also said discussions right now aren’t about other Democratic policy priorities.
“This is [about] emergency relief in the worst crisis since the Great Depression,” he added, “and we’re having this little Washington committee talk instead of talk of muscularly dealing with the restoration of some balance in people’s lives, some stability.”
The Trump administration, along with a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers, has shown some support for extending the Paycheck Protection Program for small business loans as well as a new round of direct $1,200 payments to some Americans.
And earlier this week, McConnell said lawmakers should drop the most contentious provisions in order to pass a new package of relief. However, Democratic leaders including Pelosi and Schumer want money from taxpayers to bail out fiscally mismanaged states and cities, all of which are led by Democrats.
“This is not a time for milquetoast,” Giridharadas said while lamenting that Biden does not appear to be as “comfortable” using executive authority if he becomes president in whatever capacity he can to provide relief.
“Watch that woman again. This is a time for dramatic, sweeping action,” he said.
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