Friday on MSNBC’s “Deadline,” Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) said the death toll in New York was a product of President Donald Trump’s “delay and happy talk and arrogance early on” in the coronavirus pandemic.
When asked if the president is making his pandemic response political, Maloney said, “I think that’s what the president’s doing. He’s trying to be the guy who can tell you what you want to hear and we’re sort of the nanny state saying, not yet, keep the recession going as though we support that. That’s not working when you look at the numbers among Republicans who say the president is mishandling the crisis. 80 % of the country is saying we are not ready to reopen. People are seeing it with their own eyes. I do think the president’s nonsense on this is being —it’s falling on a tougher audience than normal But that’s exactly what he’s trying to do. He is trying to set up this dynamic that he’s charging ahead while we’re dragging our feet.”
He continued, “It’s that nonsense, that substituting arrogance or flippancy for competence that got us here in the first place. The death toll in New York— this is going to sound tough, but it is true, the death toll in New York is a function of the president’s delay and happy talk and arrogance early on in this crisis. And we don’t want to prolong the crisis and defeat the economic recovery efforts because we have prolonged it too long to lift at the federal level by opening too soon. Putting down the pandemic allows us to restart the economy sooner. That’s the point.”
He added, “If you’re reading The New York Times you would have known what you needed to know about the preparations that had to get done in this country and the aggressiveness with which he needed to treat the first cases to do testing, contact tracing, to do containment, the way Obama administration did during the Ebola crisis. Had the administration done the response right, then we wouldn’t be saying, ‘Gee, why did you ignore the warnings?’ The fact is, we had several months lead time on this, and I don’t think anybody reading the intelligence would have said would have built in the assumption that we would have been incompetent in our response. That we would have happy talked it, ignored the experts, pretended it was going to go away magically. It’s the reality of exponential viral spread that when you do that, you buy yourself a huge problem when it could have been a manageable one. So I actually agree there has to be a bipartisan after action, let the chips fall where they may, commission on this and wherever the blame should lie. I’m not afraid of the truth. The real story here is the wasted weeks when we could have contained this thing. The death toll in New York and other places is a direct result of that.”
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