More Americans have died from the coronavirus than the attacks on September 11, 2001, and millions have lost their jobs — but healing the trauma isn’t at the top of the Democratic party’s agenda.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) has announced that he wants to form a panel to investigate Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic — in his words, to figure out what went wrong that left America so exposed, The Hill reported, introducing a new level of political warfare to an event that has brought incredible suffering to the American people. It comes as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) formed a panel with subpoena power to scrutinize Trump’s response.
Schiff wants another investigation
More Americans have died of the deadly coronavirus than perished in the tragedies of 9/11, with the death toll surging past 5,000 on Thursday, according to Fox News. As Americans registered this terrible news, Schiff — apparently away from the cameras for too long, or perhaps suffering a quarantine-induced psychotic breakdown — announced that he is drafting legislation to set up a new investigation of the Trump administration.
“After Pearl Harbor and 9/11, we looked at what went wrong to learn from our mistakes,” Schiff tweeted Wednesday. “Once we’ve recovered, we need a nonpartisan commission to review our response and how we can better prepare for the next pandemic.”
The Democrat is right about one thing — the coronavirus is a tragedy, but in light of current political warfare over Trump’s coronavirus response, those who see the beginnings of another witch hunt can be forgiven. Republican lawmakers immediately dismissed Schiff’s suggestion as a continuation of Schiff’s obsession with taking down the president.
Laying the blame on Trump
Talking to MSNBC’s Laurence O’Donnell, Schiff said that he hopes to set up the commission after the November election and insisted that it must not be political. He proceeded to lambast Trump for a “catastrophic” delay in responding to the virus and called Trump’s supposed dismantling of a National Security Council team to handle pandemics a “trip wire,” although whether the positions were even eliminated has been disputed.
Schiff, as Americans all remember, spent several months on a wild goose chase to impeach the president that left the country distracted — right as the pandemic was spreading. Schiff said that, if anything, calling impeachment a distraction is an acknowledgement that Trump didn’t have his eye on the ball.
“And I think the facts are quite clear that the president’s weeks long, maybe months long, delay in taking this seriously has had a catastrophic consequences that we’re only now beginning to see the scope of,” he said.
Pelosi forms committee of her own
The Democrat also suggested that he wants to look beyond Trump and assess whether the intelligence community needs to change its priorities to focus on health threats like coronavirus over concerns that have preoccupied it for decades, such as terrorism. But it’s an absurd point coming from Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, particularly amid a Washington Post report that the intelligence community warned about the virus in January, as Fox’s Gregg Re notes. Schiff, for his part, didn’t mention coronavirus on his Twitter page until late February.
Speaker Pelosi, meanwhile, has formed a new committee with subpoena powers to oversee the Trump administration’s coronavirus response — but she insists that it has nothing to do with any investigations of Trump. The committee, she says, will focus on making sure that coronavirus stimulus funds are handled appropriately. However, President Trump did not hesitate to rebuke what is looking like a partisan effort at his Thursday briefing.
“It’s time to get this enemy defeated. Conducting these partisan investigations during a pandemic is a really big waste of vital resources, time, attention. And we want to fight for American lives, not waste time and build up my poll numbers, because that’s all they’re doing, because everyone knows it’s ridiculous.”
Is another sham impeachment next? Time will tell.