US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, during a Sunday interview on CNN's State of the Union, criticized President Donald Trump for not taking seriously the ongoing coronavirus crisis from day one, declaring that “as the president fiddles, people are dying”.
The House speaker - third in line for the top spot in the US government - was asked by host Jake Tapper about the president’s intention to consider relaxing federal guidelines for the pandemic in less affected states of the country.
Pelosi noted that the death toll from the virus “has doubled from 1,000 to 2,000 in our country” prior to Trump’s signing of a $2-trillion relief package intended to provide some financial relief for the economic effects of the rapidly-spreading COVID-19 pandemic in the US.
“This is such a very, very sad time for us. So we should be taking every precaution,” Pelosi said. “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”.
.@SpeakerPelosi says the President downplaying the severity of #coronavirus is “deadly."— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) March 29, 2020
“As the President fiddles, people are dying. We just have to take every precaution.” #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/y8bFNbaPJy
The lawmaker noted that the best thing the administration could now is “to prevent more loss of life rather than open things up”.
“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?” the Speaker questioned. “That’s for an after-action review. But as the president fiddles, people are dying”.
On Friday, Trump signed a $2-trillion relief package aimed at assuaging some of the current economic chaos in the US wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the most recent data, there are over 136,000 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the United States as of Sunday, and an estimated 2,400 deaths.