Exclusive — Kevin McCarthy: China’s Lies, Democrats’ Gamesmanship Combine to Harm American Health, Economy in Coronavirus Crisis

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 05: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) holds his weekly press conference on Capitol Hill on March 5, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
Samuel Corum/Getty Images

House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy told Breitbart News on Saturday a brutal combination of Chinese Communist Party lies and Democrat political gamesmanship led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have combined to inflict serious health and economic pain on the American people.

In an appearance on Breitbart News Saturday on SiriusXM 125 the Patriot Channel, McCarthy lit into China for lying to the world about the virus thereby unleashing it upon the planet—and into Democrats particularly Pelosi for holding up economic aid for American workers and families.

Pelosi continues to refuse to replenish the funds in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Small Business Administration (SBA) loan system that Congress already authorized on a near-unanimous basis last month after the funds have run out. President Donald Trump’s administration has already given out the original $350 billion in loans to small businesses allocated in the program, but Democrats at Pelosi’s direction are refusing to help more small businesses in need.

“Understand what it is—we went into this economic crisis and remember why we are here. We are here because a virus came from China and China lied to the rest of the world,” McCarthy said. “Because of that, government asked small businesses to shut down. So we’re laying people off. How do we keep people working? How do we keep small businesses, those mom-and-pops that you know and love in your community? We created a program and what they would do is they would apply to their local banks, their credit unions, through fin-tech and others—they’d get two and a half times their expenses. They’d use 75 percent of that paying their employees, even if they’re home just pay them. Pay your rent. Pay your utilities. That becomes a grant. It’s very successful.”

McCarthy noted the program has been a smashing success since it started since more than a million and half businesses have signed up and received funds. But Pelosi and her counterpart in the U.S. Senate, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, are refusing to add more money to the program as of now. Instead of helping struggling Americans, McCarthy noted, Pelosi is pushing for more big picture policy changes along the lines of what House Minority Whip Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) pledged when he said Democrats see the crisis as an opportunity to remake government in their vision. And, McCarthy added, she is doing it while appearing on late-night television comedy shows to showcase her extensive gourmet ice cream collection in her expensive freezer.

“More than 1.6 million small businesses signed up and got money. We put out 14 years, the equivalency of 14 years worth—the SBA did—in 14 days,” McCarthy said. “Because it ran out of money, everybody voted for these bills, we said don’t change anything just add more money to it because small businesses need it. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer said no. This is exactly what she did when we were doing the CARES Act bill, she came in and delayed it. Why? I was sitting in the room—because she wants to change election law. She wants Planned Parenthood funding. She wants the Green New Deal. She wants funding for sanctuary cities. This is why she tries to hold things up. Remember what the number three in her conference said, the Majority Whip Jim Clyburn. He said the coronavirus is an opportunity for them to restructure government in their view and that’s what she’s trying to do. She’s now holding small businesses across America—there are thousands of applications from small businesses in from across America, that are laying people off—she’s letting those businesses down while Nancy Pelosi is on late-night TV with a high-end refrigerator taking out gourmet ice cream I’ve never seen before with a sweater over shoulders not understanding what the average American is going through right now.”

Pelosi continues to withhold the money for struggling Americans even though at least 15 members of her own conference have called on Congress to replenish the PPP funds. As such, McCarthy said, Pelosi is losing the confidence of the House Democrat conference—of which rank-and-file members clearly want to replenish the funds, even though Pelosi is resisting.

“She is because she’s doing nothing but playing politics,” McCarthy said, when asked if Pelosi is losing the backing of her conference’s members. “We knew this fund was going to run out of money when it was first opened, so the administration smartly requested money more than a week. Mitch McConnell went to the floor with a one page bill, just putting more money in. Democrats came back to Washington just to object and they continue to object when I was in Washington last week to pass it along with Mitch McConnell. They said no. That’s outrageous that they continue to harm small businesses because that’s not where the American public is. They want to help these people keep their jobs. It’s the people you see every day. There are 22 million reasons why the Democrats should have said yes. Why are they hurting small businesses? They claim they’re the party of fairness. This isn’t fair. This isn’t about America. They’re playing pure politics as she always does, as Nancy Pelosi only wants to do.”

Because of all of this, McCarthy argued, the American people have an opportunity at the ballot box in November to take the power away from Pelosi and the Democrats by electing a new House GOP majority to work with President Trump to help rebuild the American economy. To retake the House majority and retire Pelosi, Americans need to flip just 18 net seats from Democrat to Republican. There are 30 districts right now represented by Democrats that Trump won in 2016, and with him at the top of the ballot again in November—he was not on the ballot himself in the 2018 midterm elections when the Democrats took the majority making Pelosi the Speaker again—Republicans feel confident they can flip many of these seats. McCarthy said rejuvenating the United States is going to need a bold Republican majority since Democrats are proving they will obstruct the American economy in the middle of a crisis to push their leftist agenda.

“Just think about what this country is going to need when we get through this virus and we open back up and the president has a very good plan for that,” McCarthy said. “For us to open this country back up and build this economy again, we know what the Democrats would do—they have never been able to build an economy like we were. The strongest economy in the world, they think it takes a magic wand. We need people who are willing to put people before politics, not politics every single time as Nancy Pelosi does. We need somebody who’s going to work with this president, who knows economics, who warned us about China when he was candidate Trump not President Trump.”

McCarthy also noted that China’s “deception” about the virus has directly cost American lives, and combining that with the Democrats’ obstruction of American aid it is particularly damaging cocktail for struggling workers and families nationwide.

“Think for one moment what China has done,” McCarthy said. “China’s deception has directly led to Americans’ death. Now we’re having the Democrats’ delay is directly leading to people losing their jobs and businesses being shut down. That’s outrageous that that could ever go forward. Every Democrat should stand up to Nancy Pelosi. They cannot stay silent on this. She has done it for two weeks straight. She did in the CARES Act. How many millions of more Americans were laid off because she kept playing politics?”

Pelosi has used the crisis to try to further the Democrats’ agenda of fundamental changes to how elections are conducted, including a permanent shift to voting by mail and ballot harvesting which Democrats use in tandem to solidify control. She has also used it to push the left’s environmentalist agenda, the left’s open borders agenda, the left’s economic agenda, and other things on the Democrat Party’s political wish list. McCarthy said that her behavior—and the backup all House Democrats are giving her by going along with it—is not surprising since Clyburn let it slip what the Democrats really are after. What she should be focused on, he added, is confronting the virus and the economic distress the pandemic has caused.

“These are the things they’re trying to do because it’s exactly what verbally her number three said, Clyburn,” McCarthy said. “They view this as an opportunity to restructure government in their view, instead of viewing this as an opportunity to help the safety and well-being of those who have the virus and those who are afflicted by this economy. That should be their focus. Why would you in the middle of a virus start holding up a bill that brings aid to you—to the American public—because you’re more concerned about an election in November? There are times to talk about that. Right now the only thing we should be focused on is the virus, defeating it, defeating it together, and building the economy.”

McCarthy also said that the virus would have been contained in China had the Chinese Communist Party not lied to the world about it, citing a Southampton study. But when President Trump stepped up to bar flights from China, recognizing the threat as far back as January, McCarthy noted that Democrats like former Vice President Joe Biden as well as globalist institutions like the World Health Organization (WHO) criticized him for doing it.

“Think about the ingenuity of what we’ve been able to do. Had China not lied to us, there’s a study out there by Southampton, 95 percent of this would have never happened—meaning it wouldn’t be in America,” McCarthy said. “Had Xi allowed, when President Trump asked to bring in our scientists and researchers, they could have contained this in China. But because they were lying about where it came from and everything else, they didn’t. Now thousands of people around the world have died because of it. Economies around the world have been crushed because of it. Remember when the president, when he shut down the flights from China, what did the World Health Organization do? They criticized him. What did Joe Biden do? He criticized him. Thankfully our president, President Trump, took action.”

Just like when the president took action to protect Americans from the virus in its early days, McCarthy said Trump is now preparing the country to reopen in a responsible, safe, and scientific manner. Trump on Thursday at the White House alongside public health officials like Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx rolled out a phased reopening plan for states—one that several states are already beginning—to get the country back to work now that the worst of the virus has passed. McCarthy also praised Food and Drug Administration (FDA) chief Dr. Stephen Hahn and other officials in the Trump administration for speeding various potential treatments to market.

“Now what we’re finding is this president is also taking very smart action, he’s providing the guidelines of what states need to open up instead of sitting back—he’s showing them what they need,” McCarthy said. “We now have an Abbott test that can give you an answer in 10 minutes. This president, long before the virus ever came, championed and brought through the House Right to Try. So now we’ve got new medicines coming on. You’ve got an FDA that is instead of putting up more bureaucracy has just knocked it down with Dr. Hahn. We’ve watched new testing coming through, saliva testing and others. There are new antibodies that have promising possibility. We’re further ahead on a vaccine than we have ever been in the process. It took us two years to get to a clinical trial after SARS. We are already in a clinical trial. Everything is being able to move. Then you watch [New York Democrat Gov. Andrew] Cuomo arguing about ventilators when he had 2,000 sitting there. New York is now sending them somewhere else because his numbers were not right. This president, and what I want to see in a time of crisis is that leadership. He’s been able to move through in the hotspots, when you look at testing and you look at per capita meaning by the individual in hotspots we are testing more than anywhere in the world including Italy and South Korea which everybody wants to talk about. This is the kind of leadership we’re seeing. The country is different in different areas. So other areas can open up.”

The only state in the union that does not have a lockdown as of now is South Dakota—all other 49 states do. Gov. Kristi Noem, the GOP governor of North Dakota, has resisted calls to close her state. The virus has not hit South Dakota hard, but a meat processing plant in the state did have several cases. McCarthy noted that plant would have been open anyway even with a shutdown because it is an essential service, and praised Noem’s “leadership” in providing a different way of handling the crisis than all the other states that locked down.

“When I saw those other leaders criticize Kristi Noem, if they sat for one moment and realized that if Kristi Noem shut that state down—and remember that state is not that large so there’s a lot of social distancing to start with, that plant would have still been open because it’s essential,” McCarthy said. “The leadership she’s taken—and so I’m looking forward to you talking her, she is a very smart governor in her leadership of how to deal with things.”

Regarding reopening of the country, McCarthy said the president’s guidelines to states for a phased reopening are promising.

White House

“President Trump has laid out the guidelines so you can do it in a partial basis, maybe as more data comes there may be certain demographics about age that maybe you should stay home if you’re over 65 years old but there’s testing coming online so you can know if you already had it,” McCarthy said. “From a workforce you’re back in. The idea we could quarantine off somebody where there’s early warnings. There’s some wearables that are out there. Whoop has one, I was just talking to their CEO. It’s very interesting, you wear it to get all of your data about your health and sleep and everything else. They have one that could indicate you have symptoms before you show any symptoms so if you get a little warning stay home. There is a way we can open up this country and get the economy moving again and keep the health. What we want to do is open it up safely, and that’s exactly the leadership that President Trump has displayed.”

With regard to China again, McCarthy said that the United States needs to hold the Chinese Communist Party accountable for its actions.

“We’d have to change the law to allow individuals to sue,” McCarthy said when asked if they should face justice in American courts for this.

He also ripped China’s “medical monopoly” on the production of American medicines and medical supplies, saying America should bring those supply chains home.

“But what we really ought to do to start out with is bring that supply chain back,” McCarthy added. “Why did we ever allow ourselves to get in a place where China has a medical monopoly on our ingredients or our pharmaceuticals and personal protective equipment like the masks, gloves and others. Watch what they did. They went and bought millions of them because they controlled 50 percent of the market because they knew it was coming while they were lying to the rest of the world. We should bring all the other countries and allies—move their supply chains out of China.”

McCarthy said the historical ramifications and the impact of China’s lies will “in modern history” be “one of the worst situations killing the most people” with misinformation.

“This will go down in history as one of the worst situations killing the most people by simply lying about what was going on,” McCarthy said. “In modern history, this will be one of the worst actions someone was able to take. The Chinese government, knowingly, when they were sitting there for those number of days lying to the WHO, controlling the WHO, where you have a person leading for the first time ever today who’s a non-physician and is just mouth piecing what China has said and saying it wasn’t contagious from person to person and we shouldn’t shut down. He released China and allowed all those people to go out from China all around the world, populating this virus while not allowing our people to come in. If they truly believed it came from the wet markets, would they ever allow them to open those back up? I believe the answer would be no but they have them open up again. If they truly believe it did not come from that lab, why wouldn’t they let others in to show it? Their sheer numbers of deaths in China we know are not true. I saw a report, article I read, where it said it could have been up to 43,000 people died in Wuhan itself. When you think about people criticizing the president because he’s bringing light to the World Health Organization that gave bad information to the entire world and now thousands of people are dying because he just wanted to listen to what China said. China has about a billion more people than we do. We supply them about $500 billion in there. What does China provide? About 10 percent of what we do, even though they have a much larger population.”

LISTEN TO GOP LEADER KEVIN MCCARTHY ON BREITBART NEWS SATURDAY:

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