Gillibrand: ‘Shocking’ Trump, Pence Downplayed Coronavirus for Stock Portfolios

Monday on MSNBC, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) said President Donald Trump’s plan for the country to return to regular business activity soon was motivated by his and Vice President Mike Pence’s stock portfolios.

Anchor Ari Melber said, “Any reaction to what we heard out of the press conference here, and specifically Donald Trump already sort of trying to tout the idea that we have a return to normalcy soon?”

Gillibrand said, “Well, the president isn’t making any sense. And in fact, we have a major health crisis in front of us. I’ve talked to almost every hospital in New York State, and they’re still worried about getting basic personal protective equipment, getting more masks, getting more gowns, getting more ventilation machines. This is a huge crisis. And for him to downplay it because he’s worried about stock prices or his own economy, it’s shocking. It’s a lack of leadership. And so what Congress is working on right now is how do we support our small businesses, how do we support employees who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own, how do we make sure people can have sick leaves and paid leave days, how do we make sure that those who cannot be working because their children are home and the schools are closed, how can they still keep putting food on the table? Everybody has a purpose right now, and our purpose as individuals is to stay at home, to keep our families safe, to make sure we don’t transmit a virus more than it needs to be transmitted. Every time you choose to stay at home and not go look at the cherry blossoms or not go to the beach, you’re making a choice to not transmit this virus and keep more people safe. That is the right choice, and we all have a duty to do that.”

She added, “We have people in the senate whose husbands are sick on oxygen right now because of the coronavirus. I’ve talked to the families across New York whose children, whose parents are sick with the coronavirus. This is a real epidemic. For the president, for the vice president to downplay this because of their stock portfolios is shocking and really antithetical to the moment we’re in. That’s why Congress is working hard to try to meet the needs of the American people because the president and his administration certainly aren’t.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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