Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) dipped back into her prayer book on Monday to take a shot at President Donald Trump.
On a private call with Democrats, the House speaker slammed Trump’s “almost sinful” response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, blaming the president for failing to prepare the nation with adequate testing and cautioning against re-opening the economy too quickly, Politico reported.
In recent days, the president’s foes have been preoccupied with criticizing Trump for his alleged failure to secure adequate medical supplies and aggressively implement social distancing in the early months of the pandemic. Democrats have said that the Trump administration is largely at fault for the government’s inability to quickly provide medical equipment like masks and ventilators and implement widespread testing, but Trump has generally said that states should shoulder more of the responsibility.
On a call with Democratic lawmakers Monday, Pelosi invoked her deep Catholic faith to attack what she called Trump’s broken promises and warned of the dangers of opening the economy too soon, a debate that has picked up in recent days amid signs that the pandemic may be getting under control. Democrats like Pelosi have insisted that it isn’t safe to lift draconian lockdown restrictions until robust testing and surveillance mechanisms are in place to track the virus, Politico notes.
“The more misrepresentations he puts out there, the more it obscures the truth,” Pelosi told Democrats on her Monday call, according to Politico. “We have to insist upon the truth — what they’re saying is not knowledge, is not facts, is not real.
“And we cannot let them lie about it,” she added.
Pelosi issued another sermon Tuesday, blaming Trump for “unnecessary death and suffering” and urging Americans to ignore the “lies” coming from the White House. For his part, Trump has pushed back against claims in the “Fake News” that he wasted early months, according to the New York Post — claims that some say are rich with irony, given the prominent role of Pelosi and the media in impeachment proceedings that stretched into February.
With Trump’s critics focused on the “coulda, shoulda, woulda,” the president has made it clear that he is eager to move forward and get the economy up and running, over the objections of Democrats who argue that it’s too soon. The debate has taken on political overtones, with Democrats effectively accusing Trump of wanting to erase progress in the war against the virus and jeopardize lives to rescue his presidency.
That kind of rhetoric is a continuation of a theme: according to Pelosi, The New York Times, and various governors, Trump was slow to use the power of the federal government to rectify shortages of supplies, test the virus, and implement social distancing. But the president’s claim Monday to have “total authority” to open the economy had Democrats, in a whiplash shift, suddenly comparing him to a despot, as the New York Post reported.
The president walked back some of that rhetoric Tuesday night, even as he jokingly acknowledged the title of “king” and suggested that some states could open sooner than May 1. He also announced a list of companies that will help advise on restarting the economy (he had initially spoken of a new “task force”), The New York Times reported, one day after various states on the coasts started discussing that undertaking in their respective areas.
Democrats have said that it’s necessary to “follow the science,” but with 17 million Americans out of work and counting, Trump isn’t the only one beginning to chafe against “social distancing” and its catastrophic side effects. As Americans suffer a new financial crisis that some worry could turn into a depression, Pelosi and her fellow Democrats have come under fire for rejecting a Republican plan to provide an additional $250 billion to support small businesses.
Indeed, with the economy in tatters, Pelosi and her fellow Dems now expect the country to remain under indefinite house arrest until the scientists say it’s over — and as the devastation continues, they’ll be sure to blame the president. Pelosi may be a worthless politician, but she knows how to take advantage of a tragedy like the best of them.