House Speaker Nancy Pelosi repeatedly called coronavirus “the Trump virus” Tuesday because she argues President Donald Trump’s “inaction” made the pandemic “worse.”
She said fewer Americans would have died if Trump had insisted on greater social distancing and the wearing of masks.
“With the president’s comments today, he recognized the mistakes that he has made by now embracing mask-wearing and the recognition that 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,” Pelosi told CNN. (RELATED: Pelosi Says That She Is Trying To ‘Save The World’ Amid Coronavirus Pandemic)
Early in the pandemic, Trump ordered restrictions on travel from China.
“If he had said months ago, let’s wear masks, let’s socially distance instead of having rallies … then more people would have followed his lead. He’s the president of the United States,” Pelosi said.
The speaker said Trump made wearing a face mask “a manhood thing” and that he ignored science in tackling coronavirus. “I think a good deal of what we have suffered is clearly the Trump virus.”
At a coronavirus briefing Monday, Trump said, “Get a mask. Whether you like the mask or not, they have an impact. They will have an effect and we need everything we can get.” (RELATED: Trump Wears Mask For The First Time Publicly During Walter Reed Visit)
When asked if she was blaming Trump for “thousands of Americans” dying due to his policies, Pelosi replied, “Yes, That’s what I am saying.”
“I think it’s clearly evident … we’re approaching four million people affected by it … like 140,000 who have passed away,” Pelosi continued. “If it’s important to wear masks now, it would have been important to wear it in March instead of telling us that by April we’d all be going to church together.”
Instead, Pelosi insisted, Trump allowed the economy to reopen too quickly, adding that a vaccine is “still months away and people will die.”
“Let’s hope the president comes closer to embracing the reality of this pandemic — this Trump virus.”
Many media outlets erroneously reported that the president called the coronavirus a hoax. But Trump — and his administration — downplayed the seriousness of coronavirus early in the pandemic.
In a March tweet, Trump compared coronavirus to the common flu and suggested the pandemic was not as serious as many claimed.
“So last year 37,000 Americans died from the common Flu. It averages between 27,000 and 70,000 per year. Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on. At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus, with 22 deaths. Think about that!”
The president suggested that “anyone” who wanted a COVID-19 test could get one, long before the resources were in place to do so.
Former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham told Fox News in March that the virus was just like “a severe flu season.”
Trump was also very optimistic about reopening the American economy, saying in late March that he “would love” to reopen the country by Easter.