President Donald Trump provided reporters with a timeline of his coronavirus response during a Monday evening press conference after the The New York Time published a report critical of his messaging.
Trump criticized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during the conference, telling reporters that the California Democrat was slow to respond to the virus. He also criticized former Vice President Joe Biden after laying out a timeline of hashing out his decision to restrict travel to China.
“Now, January 21st, there was a case, not one person had died,” Trump said before emphasizing that the United States’ economy was rolling along before the virus’s appearance. “So we have this massive country, the United States of America. We have the greatest economy in the world.”
The president then noted the criticism after issuing travel restrictions on China on Jan. 31.
“So I issued travel restrictions on that date, even though nobody died, and I got brutalized over it by the press, because I was way too early,” he said “I shouldn’t have done it. Brutalized by the press.”
Trump issued travel restrictions one day after the World Health Organization declared coronavirus a global health emergency. His administration banned foreign nationals from entering if they had been in China the previous two weeks.
TheNYT published a report Sunday quoting federal health officials who lambasted the administration’s response time.
“The story in The New York Times is a fake. It’s a fake newspaper,” Trump said during the lengthy press conference.
Trump riffed on Biden as well, saying that ” he called me a racist because I said we’re shutting down entry from China. We’re shutting it down.”
He added: “Friday night two weeks ago, Joe Biden issued … a statement saying that Joe Biden agrees with the president.”
Trump also blistered Pelosi during the press conference. (RELATED: REPORT: More Than 40,000 People Have Arrived In The US From China Since Trump Restricted Travel)
“But in February, Nancy Pelosi said we should come to Chinatown. This is late February. Come to Chinatown, we think it’s very safe. Let’s all have the big parade. Chinatown parade. Probably referring to San Francisco. And that’s it. But I took this action early,” he added.
Pelosi and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio encouraged citizens to attend the 2020 Chinese New Year celebrations in their respective cities.
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