Mar 29, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Pelosi: "As the president fiddles, people are dying"

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ramped up her criticism of President Trump's coronavirus response on CNN"s "State of the Union" Sunday, claiming that his downplaying of the crisis has cost American lives.

The big picture: The U.S. is now reporting the most positive coronavirus cases in the world, with 124,686 confirmed as of Sunday morning. Pelosi argued on CNN that Trump's initial denial and subsequent delay in getting life-saving equipment to state governments have been "deadly."

  • The speaker also dismissed the suggestion that Trump is considering relaxing federal social distancing guidelines, saying that she doesn't know what the "purpose" of that would be at a time when cases and deaths are increasing.

What she's saying: "First of all, let me just say how sad it is that even since the president signing of the [stimulus] bill, the number of deaths reported has doubled from 1,000–2,000 in our country," Pelosi said.

  • "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? That's for an after-action review. But as the president fiddles, people are dying. And we just have to take every precaution."
  • "The other day when he was signing the bill he said, 'Just think, 20 days ago everything was great.' No, everything wasn't great. We had nearly 500 cases and 17 deaths already. And in that 20 days, because we weren't prepared, we now have 2,000 deaths and 100,000 cases."
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