2020-07-22 03:20:30 UTC
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) dubbed the coronavirus the Trump virus on
Tuesday evening, ratcheting up her rhetoric over President Trumps handling of
"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 on CNN's "The Situation Room."
"In fact, clearly, it is the Trump virus," Pelosi added, reiterating the phrase
later in the interview as well.
The Democratic leader was responding to the president's briefing at the White
House earlier Tuesday in which he praised the use of face masks and urged
Americans to wash their hands and practice physical distancing to stem the
spread of the disease.
During the briefing the president's first coronavirus-focused White House
briefing in nearly three months Trump also warned that the outbreak in the
U.S. will "get worse before it gets better" amid surges in parts of the country.
"If he had said months ago, let's wear masks, lets not lets socially
distance instead of having rallies and whatever they were, then more people
would have followed his lead," Pelosi argued on CNN. "He's the president of the
Pressed by CNN host Wolf Blitzer on whether she was asserting that thousands of
Americans had died because of the presidents response, Pelosi responded, Yes,
that's what I am saying. I think it's clearly evident.
The comments mark one of the strongest rebukes yet of Trumps handling of the
pandemic, which Democrats maintain could have been more aggressively dealt with
by the White House.
The criticism, which centers around Trumps early reluctance to wear a mask and
barbs from some White House aides directed at health officials such as Anthony
Fauci, has been amplified amid a spike in coronavirus cases across the country,
particularly in the South and West.
Were approaching 4 million. Were approaching 4 million people infected,
people affected by this, infected by it, and a large number, like 140,000, who
have passed away. 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, Pelosi said.
If they dont return to science and governance and thats a way that we can
overcome this. We have hope and prayers for a vaccine. God willing that will be
soon. But it is still months away, and people will die. So let's hope that the
president comes closer to embracing the reality of this pandemic, this Trump
In apparent recognition of the burgeoning health crisis, Trump has expressed
more openness to masks, posting a picture on Twitter of him wearing one and
urging Americans to more strictly adhere to health guidance from federal
It will probably, unfortunately, get worse before it gets better, Trump said
Were asking everybody that when you are not able to socially distance, wear a
mask, he added. Whether you like the mask or not, they have an impact. Theyll
have an effect, and we need everything we can get.