House Speaker Nancy Pelosi criticized President Trump for what she called “weak” leadership during the coronavirus pandemic.
In Pelosi’s first interview on “Fox News Sunday” since 2017, she rated President Trump with an “F” over his handling of the coronavirus despite the fact that the death count is now projected much lower than initial estimates.
“Leaders — leaders take responsibility. So I said he’s a weak leader. He doesn’t take responsibility. He places blame – blame on others,” Pelosi said. “And that might have been OK before, but we cannot continue down a path that is, again I’ll come back to science, science, science, evidence, data on how we should go forward.”
When asked if she believes Fauci, Pelosi said she does, but pointed to what she called a “failure” to perform sufficient testing thus far as evidence that the administration has already come up short.
“But we’re way late on it and that is a failure. The president gets an F, a failure on the testing,” Pelosi said. “But Fauci – Dr. Fauci’s right. If it is done properly, it hasn’t been and I – I think when he puts in the ‘if it’s done’ is an admission that it hasn’t been done.”
Governor Cuomo on the other hand made it clear that what Trump and his administration have done was nothing short of a “phenomenal accomplishment.”
“What the federal government did working with states was a phenomenal accomplishment,” the governor marveled. “We bent the curve. We flattened the curve. Government did it. People did it, but government facilitates people’s actions, right?”
Gov. Cuomo has consistently praised the president for helping New Yorkers while the state quickly emerged as an international hotspot of the Wuhan coronavirus.
“We had to double the hospital capacity in New York State,” Gov. Cumo recalled on Sunday. “That’s what all the experts said. The president brought in the Army Corps of Engineers. They built 2,500 at Javits … It was a phenomenal accomplishment. Close to a thousand people have gone through Javits. Luckily, we didn’t need the 2,500 beds. But all the projections said we did need it and more … so these were just extraordinary efforts and acts of mobilization, and the federal government stepped up and was a great partner, and I’m the first one to say it. We needed help and they were there.”
Other governors, both Republicans and Democrats, have praised Trump in recent weeks over the virus response. Earlier this month, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, told CNN: “Let me just be candid with you. I’d be lying to you to say that [Trump] hasn’t been responsive to our needs. He has. And so, as a sort of an offer of objectivity, I have to acknowledge that publicly.”
Fox News Host Chris Wallace countered Pelosi’s claim during their interview that Trump did not take the pandemic seriously enough before March by showing video of her walking the streets of Chinatown on Feb. 24 without a mask and encouraging tourists to go there. In the clip, Pelosi said it was “very safe” there.
“That’s what we’re trying to do today is to say, everything is fine here. Come, because precautions have been taken,” Pelosi said on February 24. “We think it’s very safe to be in Chinatown and hope that others will come.”
San Francisco declared a state of emergency over the coronavirus the very next day.
Pelosi insisted that this was not an example of her taking the outbreak lightly, and claimed it was only meant “to end the discrimination, the stigma, that was going out against the Asian-American community.”
“If the president underplayed the threat in the early days, Speaker Pelosi, didn’t you as well?” Wallace asked.
“No,” Pelosi said. “What we’re trying to do is to end the discrimination, the stigma, that was going out against the Asian-American community. In fact, if you will look, the record will show that our Chinatown has been a model of containing and preventing the virus.”
Pelosi continued on by making a bizarrely false claim, “So, I’m confident in our folks there and thought it was necessary to offset some of the things that the president and others were saying about Asian-Americans and making them a target, a target of violence across the country – hate crimes.”
Trump never said anything about Asian-Americans and never encouraged any discrimination against Chinese-Americans, in fact, contrary to Pelosi’s claims, Trump has specifically stated that he wanted to protect the Asian-American community.
“It is very important that we totally protect our Asian-American community in the United States, and all around the world,” Trump tweeted. “They are amazing people, and the spreading of the Virus is NOT their fault in any way, shape, or form. They are working closely with us to get rid of it. WE WILL PREVAIL TOGETHER!”