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George Conway group rejects Trump claim of impeachment distraction in coronavirus response

A conservative group working against President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden to hold virtual bilateral meeting with Mexican president More than 300 charged in connection to Capitol riot Trump Jr.: There are 'plenty' of GOP incumbents who should be challenged MORE's reelection that includes George ConwayGeorge ConwayLincoln Project forming 'transition advisory committee' amid calls to close The Hill's Morning Report - Democrats ready mammoth relief bill for 10-day sprint Lincoln Project faces calls to shut down MORE, husband of White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayGeorge Conway calls for thorough Lincoln Project probe: 'The lying has to stop' Claudia Conway advances on 'American Idol,' parents Kellyanne, George appear The swift death of the media darlings known as the Lincoln Project MORE, on Thursday released a video rejecting Trump’s claim that his impeachment earlier this year distracted him from the impending coronavirus outbreak.

The Lincoln Project's clip, titled “Distracted,” knocked the administration’s slow response to the growing pandemic, which initially began in China and spread across Europe.

“Coronavirus has now killed three times more Americans than 9/11,” a narrator says. “So what’s Donald Trump been up to? Blaming the impeachment hearings for distracting him from preparing for the pandemic."

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At a March 31 press briefing, Trump said the impeachment “probably” took up some of his attention but later insisted that he wouldn’t have acted differently in response to the coronavirus.

“I think I handled it pretty well, but I guess it probably did. I mean, I got impeached. I think you know I certainly devoted a little time to thinking about it, right?” Trump said, referring to his impeachment as a “hoax” perpetrated by House Democrats.

The group's new video notes that Trump’s trade adviser, Peter Navarro, in January reportedly warned his White House colleagues about the threat the novel coronavirus posed to the U.S. public in a memo, when Trump was still publicly downplaying the risk.  

Days later, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global health emergency.

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“Where was Trump? He wasn’t distracted,” the narrator continues. “He had plenty to do. Like campaign rallies and golfing. In February, the virus spread to Europe. While Italy was shutting down and quarantines were being announced all over the world, Trump played more golf and packed thousands of people together. Sounds safe."

“Trump just didn’t care. He still doesn’t. He was never distracted. And Americans have been paying attention,” the video concludes.

As of Thursday morning, there has been more than 432,438 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States and 14,808 deaths, according to a database from Johns Hopkins University.

“The President’s dishonest, incompetent, and delusional press conferences have veered into disturbing territory. The President is aware he lacks the competency to deal with this crisis, though he refuses to hold himself accountable. Instead he’d rather place blame for his ineptitude on an irrelevant issue,” Reed Galen, co-founder of The Lincoln Project, said in a statement.

The super PAC, founded by a number of conservatives last year, aims to gather enough disenfranchised Republicans and independents to prevent the reelection of Trump in November.

The conservative organization on Wednesday endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign shortly after Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersHouse Democrats pass sweeping .9T COVID-19 relief bill with minimum wage hike House set for tight vote on COVID-19 relief package On The Money: Democrats scramble to save minimum wage hike | Personal incomes rise, inflation stays low after stimulus burst MORE (I-Vt.) suspended his campaign, paving the way for Biden to become the Democratic presidential nominee.

Joe BidenJoe BidenHouse Democrats pass sweeping .9T COVID-19 relief bill with minimum wage hike Biden to hold virtual bilateral meeting with Mexican president More than 300 charged in connection to Capitol riot MORE has the experience — in politics, in government and in life — to lead the United States out of our current crisis,” Galen said in a statement. “As America contends with unprecedented loss, we need a leader who can steady our ship of state, bind up our common wounds, and lead us into our next national chapter. Joe Biden has the humanity, empathy and steadiness we need in a national leader.”