Say what? Isn’t this the same woman who held up the coronavirus relief package for days to get Green New Deal funding as part of the rescue? Nancy Pelosi told Jake Tapper yesterday morning that Donald Trump still isn’t taking the COVID-19 pandemic seriously enough, just a few days after Pelosi spent a week back home rather than in Washington dealing with the crisis, only to fly back and derail Senate negotiations for several days in providing a response to it.
Pelosi also threw in a hint of Watergate, telling Tapper that her “after-action review” would ask the question, “What did he know and when did he know it?”
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) March 29, 2020
TAPPER: Speaker Pelosi, thank you so much for joining us. I hope you are well and safe. I know your home district of San Francisco has been particularly hard- hit. President Trump is considering relaxing federal guidelines for coronavirus for some of the less affected parts of the country. Do you think he should?
PELOSI: Well, first of all, let me just say how sad it is that, even since the president signing of the bill, the number of deaths reported has doubled from 1,000 to 2,000 in our country. This is such a very, very sad time for us. So, we should be taking every precaution.
What the president — his denial at the beginning was deadly. His delaying of getting equipment to where — it continues — his delay in getting equipment to where it’s needed is deadly. And now I think the best thing would be to do is to prevent more loss of life, rather than open things up, so that — because we just don’t know. We have to have testing, testing, testing — that’s what we said from the start — before we can evaluate what the nature of it is in some of these other regions as well.
I don’t know what the purpose of that is. I don’t know what the scientists are saying to him. I don’t know what the scientists said to him. When did this president know about this and what did he know? What did he know and when did he know it?
That’s for an after-action review. But as the president fiddles, people are dying. And we have to — we just have to take every precaution.
So … we’re gonna get Impeachment II: COVID Boogaloo, right?
Had Nancy Pelosi held her post this entire time, this criticism might be better taken. Trump did downplay the risks earlier, perhaps in part because he relied on the same data source that on which our national media keeps relying now — China. However, he wasn’t the only one downplaying the risks, and he caught on earlier than some, including former Democratic presidential contender Bill de Blasio.
This, however, is rich coming from someone who fled Washington just at the moment when Congress needed to act to rescue the economy. Pelosi only returned at the last minute to scotch a deal carved out by Chuck Schumer for not having enough progressive-agenda pork in it. Lindsey Graham blew up when he heard Pelosi’s remarks from Maria Bartiromo yesterday, and reminded her audience of the uniquely obstructive role Pelosi played over the last two weeks:
BARTIROMO: Take us behind the curtain and tell us how this all shook out, senator, because Nancy Pelosi says she did jiu-jitsu on this relief bill to get it where it needs to be. And this morning, she is saying that the president is fiddling around while people are dying.
GRAHAM: No, she’s blaming the president of the United States for people dying because of the way he’s led the country. That’s the most shameful, disgusting statement by any politician in modern history. Let me tell you, we’ve seen the best of America from our citizens helping each other, delivering groceries, having special shopping hours for senior citizens. She’s the first politician to blame another politician for people dying. This is the same speaker of the House who held up the bill in the Senate for days because she wanted same-day voting. She wanted carbon neurtrality for the airlines. She wanted $75 million for the endowment for the humanities and $25 million for the Kennedy Center. She is the one who held up the package in the Senate for days to get the Green New Deal put in a recovery package. So, it’s the most shameful, disgusting thing I’ve heard yet, and it needs to stop.
Indeed. There’s room for criticism of Trump’s early response, but neither de Blasio nor Pelosi have any standing to deliver it. Democrats should stick with Andrew Cuomo.
Update: My good pal Gary Gross reminds me of the House’s response under Pelosi’s leadership. Trump blocked travel to and from China in late January. When did the House first take up the coronavirus crisis?