House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) branded the coronavirus the “Trump virus,” saying in an interview with CNN that President Trump’s failure in handling the pandemic is the reason it has “gotten worse.”
“Well, I think with the President’s comments today, he recognized the mistakes he has made by now embracing mask-wearing and the recognition this is not a hoax, it is a pandemic that has gotten worse before it will get better because of his inaction,” Pelosi said Tuesday evening on CNN’s ’The Situation Room.’ “And, in fact, clearly, it is the Trump virus.”
“Well, what do you mean when you say the ‘Trump virus?’” CNN host Wolf Blitzer asked.
“The Trump virus,” Pelosi responded. “If he had said months ago, let’s wear masks and let’s socially distance instead of rallies and whatever they were, then more people would have followed his lead. He’s the President of the United States. Instead of being a bad example, like a manhood thing not to wear a mask.”
Pelosi’s comment came shortly after Trump held a coronavirus press briefing, in which CNN was the only major news network that refused to air the less than half an hour remarks. She went on to call the press briefing “weird,” and urged the White House to “return to science and governance.”
“So, in any event, it was weird because a briefing on the coronavirus should be about science, and that is something the President has ignored,” Pelosi said, continuing to repeat the “Trump virus” phase while at the same time criticizing Trump’s response of the pandemic. “It should be about governance and, now, he’s finally embracing – saying it is okay to wear a mask. So, I think a good deal of what we have suffered is clearly the Trump virus.”
She added, “And so, if they don’t return to science and governance and that’s a way that we can overcome this. So, let’s hope that the President comes closer to embracing the reality of this pandemic, this Trump virus.”
Blitzer pressed the House Speaker to clarify on whether she was asserting that Trump caused “thousands of Americans” death due to his response, Pelosi replied, “Yeah. Yes, that’s what I’m saying. I think it’s clearly evident.”
“We’re approaching four million, we’re approaching four million people infected – people affected by this – infected by it, and a large number, like 140,000, who have passed away,” she argued. “If it’s important to wear a mask now, it would have been important to wear it in March instead of telling us that by April we would all be going to church together. I wish that were the case, but he had no scientific basis for that.”
The president’s revival of the coronavirus press briefing, the first in nearly three months comes as multiple states grapple with record-breaking spikes of confirmed virus cases. During the press briefing, Trump warned the coronavirus outbreak in the United States would “get worse before it gets better” and urged Americans to strictly follow the CDC guidelines by wearing face masks when needed, practice social distancing, and employ washing hands. He also implored young Americans to “avoid packed bars and other crowded indoor gatherings.”
As of Tuesday, the U.S. reported more than 3.8 million positive cases, and 141,000 deaths from the coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University.