Mar 8, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump Jr. defends saying Democrats want millions to die from coronavirus

Donald Trump Jr. said he's "entitled to speak with hyperbole" when questioned in an interview with "Axios on HBO" about his statement suggesting Democrats want millions to die from the coronavirus.

Between the lines: Trump Jr. told Fox News in late February that "for Democrats to try to take a pandemic and seemingly hope that it comes here and kills millions of people so that they could end Donald Trump's streak of winning is a new level of sickness."

  • "I don't know if this is coronavirus or Trump Derangement Syndrome, but these people are infected badly," Trump told Fox News.

In the "Axios on HBO" interview, Trump clarified that he doesn't actually think that Democrats want millions to die, but noted: "I don't know that they want millions of people, but you could see them."

  • "There was nothing that Trump could do that could turn his response to coronavirus into, hey, he did a good job."

The big picture: There are more than 106,000 coronavirus cases in 100 countries and territories and the global death toll has risen to almost 3,600.

  • The Trump administration's response to the novel coronavirus is being spearheaded by Vice President Mike Pence, in coordination with the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health.
  • Officials have predicted the continued spread of the virus throughout the U.S., with the likelihood of significantly more confirmed cases as testing improves.

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WHO official leads criticism of Trump's coronavirus response

President Trump with members of the new coronavirus task force at the White House on Wednesday. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Ezekiel Emanuel, special adviser to the director general of the World Health Organization, told MSNBC Wednesday he found "most" of what President Trump said at his briefing on the novel coronavirus "incoherent."

The big picture: As the number of confirmed cases reaches 60 in the U.S., the top health professional — who was a health policy adviser in the Obama administration — is among several leading figures, in particular, Democrats, to criticize the president for his response to the outbreak.

Go deeperArrowFeb 27, 2020 - Health

Pelosi and Schumer call for paid sick leave for coronavirus patients

Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer at a news conference in the Capitol, May 15, 2019. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) urged the Trump administration to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus by stepping up workers' protections with a series of new measures.

Details: Pelosi and Schumer said in a joint statement the administration should introduce paid sick leave for those impacted by COVID-19, enable widespread and free coronavirus testing access, expand programs such as SNAP food stamps, and reimburse patients for noncovered costs related to the virus.

Go deeperArrowMar 9, 2020 - Health