As concern over the coronavirus disease now known as COVID-19 grows in the United States, President Donald Trump has faced criticism over his administration’s response to what some have characterized as an impending outbreak. Now, the president is pushing back.
After House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) suggested at a press conference Wednesday that Trump is inept to handle the coronavirus crisis, Trump charged that Pelosi is simply “trying to create a panic” in order to “get a political advantage.”
“We should all be working together,” Trump said at a press conference Wednesday evening, according to Breitbart. “She’s trying to create a panic, and there’s no reason to panic because we have done so good.”
Think about the country
Trump briefed the media from the White House on Wednesday evening alongside numerous health care officials who are part of the administration’s team tasked with managing the spread of COVID-19. At one point during the presser, the president was asked to respond to critics like Pelosi, who say Trump is ill-equipped to handle an outbreak and can’t be trusted to manage it.
“I think Speaker Pelosi is incompetent,” Trump replied, according to a transcript provided by the White House. “She lost the Congress once. I think she’s going to lose it again. She lifted my poll numbers up 10 points. I never thought that I would see that so quickly and so easily.”
Trump went on to accuse Pelosi of “not thinking about the country.”
“Instead of making a statement like that, she should be saying we have to work together, because we have a big problem, potentially,” the president added. “I hope that it’s going to be a very little problem. But we have to work together.”
Of course, Pelosi wasn’t the only target of Trump’s ire. The president also pointed to comments from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who suggested that the Trump administration’s request of $2.5 billion to combat the coronavirus disease isn’t sufficient.
“Same thing with Cryin’ Chuck Schumer,” Trump said. “He goes out and he says, ‘The president only asked for two and a half billion dollars. He should have eight and a half.’ This is the first time I’ve ever been told that we should take more. Usually, it’s we have to take less.”
Working together for America
At the end of the day, Trump says Republicans and Democrats “should all be working together” to keep COVID-19 from becoming a pandemic. But according to the president, Pelosi and company are doing nothing of the sort. “All they’re trying to do is get a political advantage,” he said. “This isn’t about political advantage. We’re all trying to do the right thing.”
The president went on: “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, that’s okay; we’ll take more money. Some Republicans think we should have more money too. That’s okay. We’ll take more money.
“But they shouldn’t demean the people that are on the stage, who are the finest in the world,” Trump added. “They’re not demeaning me. They’re demeaning the greatest health care professionals in the world and people that do exactly what we’re talking about.”
Indeed, it isn’t as though Trump is going it alone on the coronavirus. He has tapped Vice President Mike Pence to lead the administration’s charge against the disease, according to Fox News, and officials at the Wednesday presser made it clear that progress is being made on a vaccine.
But it really doesn’t matter what the president does; Democrats will always find a way to politicize and criticize — even when lives are at stake.