‘As The President Fiddles, People Are Dying’: Pelosi Invokes Emperor Nero To Slam Trump On Coronavirus


Virginia Kruta Associate Editor
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Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi invoked Rome’s notorious Emperor Nero to attack President Donald Trump’s response to coronavirus.

Pelosi spoke with CNN’s Jake Tapper during Sunday morning’s “State of the Union,” and took several opportunities to jab at the president’s response to the virus’ threat — with no pushback from Tapper about her own actions that delayed this week’s relief bill. (RELATED: Juan Williams Goes To Bat For Pelosi’s Loaded Coronavirus Bill, Blames His Colleagues For Making It ‘A Caricature’)


Tapper began by asking Pelosi about President Trump’s stated goal to reopen parts of the economy and relax guidelines as it was safe to do so. “President Trump is considering relaxing federal guidelines for coronavirus for some of the less affected parts of the country. Do you think he should?” Tapper asked.

Pelosi did not immediately answer the question, instead appearing to blame Trump’s “denial at the beginning” for the increase in coronavirus deaths.

“First let me say how sad it is that even since the president’s signing of the bill, the number of deaths reported has doubled from 1,000 to 2,000 in our country. This is such a very, very sad time for us. So we should be taking every precaution. The president, his denial at the beginning, was deadly. His delaying of getting equipment to where it — his continued delay in getting equipment to where it’s needed is deadly,” she explained. “Now the best thing to do would be to prevent more loss of life rather than open things up, because we just don’t know.”

Pelosi then appeared to suggest that another investigation might be in Trump’s future when she claimed that the president’s actions should be subjected to an “after-action review.”

“I don’t know what the scientists are saying to him. I don’t know what the scientists said to him, when did this president know about this, and what did he know? What did he know and when did he know it?” Pelosi asked. “That’s for an after-action review. But as the president fiddles, people are dying.”

“Speaker Pelosi, when you say the president’s denial was deadly, he obviously downplayed the risks of coronavirus for several weeks and it wasn’t until I think about two weeks ago that he started acknowledging the gravity of the crisis. Are you saying his downplaying ultimately cost American lives?” Tapper pressed the issue.

“Yes, I am. I’m saying that,” Pelosi replied.

Speaker Pelosi spent much of the past week throwing roadblocks in front of the most recent coronavirus relief legislation, pushing for a number of issues that appeared to have no relation to the immediate crisis at hand.