In remarks to the media on Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made the extraordinary claim that “most” of the American deaths attributed to the coronavirus could have been avoided were it not for President Donald Trump. The exchange occurred days before Congress agreed on a coronavirus stimulus package.
“Given all of the demand still out there that you’ve talked about, how large a package would you like to see President-Elect Biden introduce next year as President and how much money for state and local aid do you think should be in that package?” a reporter asked.
“Well, we’ll make a judgment all the time about what the needs are. I think that when you see the surge and the Coronavirus, you know that we cannot just think it’s over or that we can ignore it. The denial, the delay, the distortion, the calling it a hoax has caused hundreds of thousands of deaths, not all of them attributed to President Trump, but most of them that could have been avoided,” Pelosi said.
“So, this is a matter of life and death: the lives of the American people and the livelihood of our economy and their economic security,” she continued. “So we’ll make a judgment as we go forward as to what has changed and what — what may be for the better or may be for the worse as we go forward.”
This is not the first time that Pelosi has laid a charge of what amounts to mass murder at the feet of the president.
In July, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer asked Pelosi, “Let me start with the President’s news conference he just had. He encouraged people to go ahead and wear masks, he admitted that things would get worse before they get better, eventually it will disappear. How far do you think all that goes in addressing this crisis that is still killing hundreds of Americans every single day?”
“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. And, in fact, clearly, it is the Trump virus,” replied Pelosi.
“What do you mean when you say the Trump virus?” asked Blitzer.
“The Trump virus: if he had said months ago, let’s wear masks and let’s not – 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,” she said. “I think a good deal of what we have suffered is clearly the Trump virus.”
“So what you are saying is that thousands of Americans have died because of what the President has done or not done; is that what you are saying?” asked Blitzer.
“Yeah,” Pelosi said. “Yes, that’s what I am saying. I think it’s clearly evident.”