Quantcast
Connect with us

Panicked Republicans now want to blame impeachment for bungling the coronavirus response: report

Published

on

Congress was slow to understand the threat from coronavirus, and now Republicans want to blame impeachment.

Back in January, as Democrats presented their evidence in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, only a few lawmakers from both parties were urging action against the highly contagious virus that had shut down parts of China and recently arrived in the United States, reported Politico.

ADVERTISEMENT

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) became alarmed over Martin Luther King Day weekend reading reports about the coronavirus in China, which he noticed a disconnect between China’s rosy statements about the outbreak and the drastic steps it was taking to contain it.

The Arkansas Republican started pressing the White House to ban travel from China, and he called Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner and privately warned them about the coronavirus, and he also urged action from Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and other top officials.

Publicly, however, Trump said Jan. 22 that his team had the U.S. outbreak “totally under control,” and only 14 senators showed up for an all-Senate briefing requested by Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and held on Jan. 24, which was the deadline for senators to turn in their impeachment questions.

“The initial thought from the Dems, I think, is that we were trying to distract from impeachment,” a Republican Senate aide said.

However, Democrats started stepping up their warnings shortly afterward, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer urged the Department of Health and Human Services on Jan. 26 to declare coronavirus a public health emergency, which would free up $85 million in funding to control the outbreak.

ADVERTISEMENT

Both of Washington state’s senators — Democrats Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell — demanded Jan. 28 that Azar keep them up to date on his agency’s efforts to fight the outbreak, and the White House did heed Cotton’s advice and banned most travel from China on Jan. 31.

The impeachment trial ended Feb. 5 with Trump’s acquittal, and Cotton and other Republicans insist the process distracted lawmakers and the president — but Democrats disagree, saying the House wasn’t even briefed on the virus until the Senate trial was over.

Democrats started asking for emergency funding for the outbreak on Feb. 5, the last day of the impeachment trial, after Azar held a closed-door briefing, and they also point out that Trump and most other Republicans continued to downplay the threat well into March.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Senate Republicans were not using February to pressure the president to get serious about an early supplemental [appropriations] request,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), who tweeted out a complaint after that briefing that the administration wasn’t taking the threat seriously enough.

Democrats say, even if impeachment had never happened, they doubt Republicans would have been willing to take dramatic steps to fight a viral outbreak they mocked and downplayed until it had wrecked the economy and forced the shutdown of schools and businesses.

ADVERTISEMENT

“In an alternate world in which impeachment wasn’t happening, I don’t think the replacement would have been an earlier bill on coronavirus,” said Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA). “Even as we were passing our Phase 1 coronavirus bill many House Republicans were not taking coronavirus seriously, even mocking the issue.”


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

DC mayor trolls Trump by lighting ‘Black Lives Matter Plaza: ‘We turned on the night light for him’

Published

on

Continue Reading

2020 Election

It’s Donald Trump vs Joe Biden: Associate Press reports former VP has clinched the DNC nomination

Published

on

The 2020 general election campaign between two top parties has unofficially been set.

"Joe Biden formally clinched the Democratic presidential nomination Friday, setting him up for a bruising challenge to President Donald Trump that will play out against the unprecedented backdrop of a pandemic, economic collapse and civil unrest," the AP reported Friday. "The former vice president has effectively been his party’s leader since his last challenger in the Democratic primary, Bernie Sanders, ended his campaign in April. But Biden pulled together the 1,991 delegates needed to become the nominee after seven states and the District of Columbia held presidential primaries Tuesday."

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Trump retweets right-wing video attacking George Floyd’s character — hours after calling it a ‘great day’ for Floyd

Published

on

On Friday, President Donald Trump retweeted a video from right-wing commentator Glenn Beck, which appeared to question the wisdom of calling George Floyd a "hero" — and concurring with Black GOP commentator Candace Owens, who said it "sickens me" he is being "held up as a martyr."

Disgusting. pic.twitter.com/JCJWEFYZww

— David Gura (@davidgura) June 6, 2020

Continue Reading
 
 
You need honest news coverage. Help us deliver it. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free.
close-image