House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Wednesday accused the Trump administration of responding “too late” to halt the possible spread of China’s deadly coronavirus in the United States.
“This is shameful,” Pelosi told reporters on Capitol Hill when asked about the administration sending a $2.5 billion supplemental budget request to combat the illness. “He puts forth a proposal now that is meager, anemic in terms of addressing this. Ebola, we did $5 billion. And now they’re trying to take the Ebola money and spend it here.”
"Hopefully we can make up for the loss of time…and not be using scare tactics about people coming back to our country."
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) February 26, 2020
“What he’s doing is late, too late, anemic,” she added. “Hopefully, we can make up for the loss of time but we have to have professionals in place, resources that are adequate and not use scare tactics about people coming back to our country.”
The administration’s request proposes spending unused funds earmarked to fight Ebola, with officials seeking $1.25 billion in new money for vaccine development and purchasing protective equipment.
Asked for her thoughts on President Donald Trump’s comments about the coronavirus, Pelosi replied tersely: “I don’t think the President knows what he’s talking about. Once again.”
Earlier Wednesday, President Donald Trump announced that he will deliver a press conference on his administration’s response to the virus and took aim at the establishment media for making the illness “look as bad as possible.”
“Low Ratings Fake News MSDNC (Comcast) & @CNN are doing everything possible to make the Caronavirus look as bad as possible, including panicking markets, if possible. Likewise their incompetent Do Nothing Democrat comrades are all talk, no action. USA in great shape!” the president wrote on Twitter. “I will be having a News Conference at the White House, on this subject, today at 6:00 P.M. CDC representatives, and others, will be there. Thank you!”
While returning from India on Air Force One on Tuesday, President Trump also criticized Democrat presidential candidates for accusing his administration of mishandling the outbreak.
“CDC and my Administration are doing a GREAT job of handling Coronavirus, including the very early closing of our borders to certain areas of the world. It was opposed by the Dems, “too soon”, but turned out to be the correct decision. No matter how well we do, however, the Democrats talking point is that we are doing badly,” the president wrote. “If the virus disappeared tomorrow, they would say we did a really poor, and even incompetent, job. Not fair, but it is what it is. So far, by the way, we have not had one death. Let’s keep it that way!”
Earlier Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned that Americans could see “significant disruption” if the virus continues to spread in the U.S.
“Ultimately, we expect we will see community spread in this country,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told reporters.