Pelosi Says Trump’s Initial Coronavirus Denials Will Result In Deaths — ‘As The President Fiddles, People Are Dying’
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi hasn’t been the biggest fan of President Donald Trump, but she has tried, at times, to be more reserved about her criticisms, including resisting for as long as she could calls to impeach the president, doing so only when she determined it was required of her and her post to pursue last fall.
On coronavirus, however, and on Trump’s initial response to the threat of the disease, the Speaker is not holding back.
“The president’s denial at the beginning was deadly,” Pelosi said in no uncertain terms on Sunday, speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“As the president fiddles, people are dying,” she added, referencing the Roman Emperor Nero.
When asked to clarify whether her remarks meant she felt the president’s downplaying of COVID-19 was directly related to people dying (either now or in the future), Pelosi responded in the affirmative. “Yes I am. I’m saying that,” she answered.
Indeed, tens of thousands, if not more, of Americans are projected to die as a result of the disease. Dr. Anthony Fauci, speaking on the same program on Sunday, predicted “millions of cases” of people contracting the disease, and said that would translate into between 100,000 and 200,000 Americans succumbing to it.
Dr. Deborah Birx, who also sits on the coronavirus task force, projected on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that 81,000 Americans could die in the next four months — with her predictions suggesting that the middle of April could be the worst time of all. Based on the model she was referencing, between 1,200 and 4,500 Americans could die per day around that time.
Here is IHME model that Dr. Deborah Birx referenced on @MeetThePress. It projects national apex in next 3 weeks, outbreak lasting through summer & over 81,000 American deaths in next 4 months. https://t.co/ft4vKreCvL
— Alex Conant (@AlexConant) March 29, 2020
President Trump spent much of February denying that the disease was anything for himself to worry over. He called others who criticized his lackadaisical approach involved in a “hoax” against him. He claimed that the disease was nothing to worry over, suggesting that it would go away with warmer temperatures by April. And in late February, he claimed that the number of cases, at the time sitting at 15, would be down to zero within a matter of days.
Throughout that time, Trump did little-to-nothing to prepare for the disease’s impending spread across the country. As of Sunday at around 2 p.m. Eastern Time, according to Johns Hopkins’ Coronavirus Resource Center Map, more than 125,000 Americans have contracted coronavirus, with close to 2,200 having died from it so far.
Biostatisticians believe the number of infected could be as many as five times greater what the official figures suggest.