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

The bizarre vacation photo Jerry Falwell Jr. posted — and then quickly deleted

Published

on

Jerry Falwell Jr. posted and then quickly deleted a strange vacation photo, leaving some to question what was actually going on.

The photo, captured by Relevant Magazine, shows the Liberty University president on a yacht with his pants undone and his shirt hiked up. Next to him stands a young woman identified as a "friend" whose pants are similarly unzipped and Falwell was holding up her shirt to expose her abdomen. In his hand was a glass of dark liquid.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump appears to be ‘looking for excuses not to contain this virus’: medical expert

Published

on

During an appearance on CNN this Monday, professor of tropical medicine Dr. Peter Hotez addressed the fact that President Trump is once again pushing the malaria drug Hydroxychloroquine as a promising treatment for coronavirus --  a claim that has been repeatedly debunked by medical experts and fact checkers.

"The problem is this," Hotez said. "The President and the White House seem to be looking for excuses not to contain this virus."

"Things have been spiraling out of control now for a few weeks," he continued, pointing out that the virus will likely kill upwards of 300,000 people by the end of the year.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Senate Republicans provide a surprisingly potent sign of Trump’s growing impotence

Published

on

I’m not sure what kind of game Steven Mnuchin is playing, but it’s pretty clear that it’s a game. Gross domestic product fell by nearly 10 percent in the second quarter, as all of us were forced to cut back on account of the novel coronavirus pandemic. The drop, according to the Times, was the equivalent of a 32.5 percent annual rate of decline, “the most devastating three-month collapse on record,” which wiped out five years of growth. All of this would have been worse without government stimulus.

This article was originally published at The Editorial Board

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