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Maxine Waters unleashes over Trump COVID-19 response: 'Stop congratulating yourself! You're a failure'

Rep. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersOn The Money: Democrats accuse Mnuchin of sabotaging economy in dispute with Fed | Trump administration proposal takes aim at bank pledges to avoid fossil fuel financing | JPMorgan: Economy will shrink in first quarter due to COVID-19 spike Democrats accuse Mnuchin of sabotaging economy in dispute with Fed Maxine Waters says Biden win is 'dawn of a new progressive America' MORE (D-Calif.) tore into President TrumpDonald John TrumpGeraldo Rivera on Trump sowing election result doubts: 'Enough is enough now' Murkowski: Trump should concede White House race Scott Atlas resigns as coronavirus adviser to Trump MORE on Monday over his administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, calling him an “incompetent idiot” in a series of fiery tweets and telling him to “stop congratulating” himself. 

“Trump, since you destroyed the WH unit designed to plan for pandemics like #COVID19, you need to stop being duplicitous about the DPA & get more corps to develop masks, respirators, & everything needed to protect hospital workers trying to save lives,” she said in the first of series of tweets attacking the president on Monday afternoon. “Get your act together!”

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Waters was referring to a National Security Council (NSC) pandemic directorate The Associated Press reports was dismantled by the Trump administration in 2018. Trump has received renewed criticism for the move as the country grapples with the COVID-19 outbreak, although functions of the unit that dealt with the tracking of possible threats from infectious diseases were picked up by another group in the security agency afterward. 

The Democratic congresswoman, who also chairs the House Financial Services Committee, went on to take aim at Trump for what she called “self congratulations,” as the president has described his administration’s response using words such as “fantastic” and “incredible” over the past week. 

“Trump, stop congratulating yourself!” she wrote. “You’re a failure & you've mishandled this #COVID19 disaster! You're not knowledgeable & you don’t know more than experts & generals. Your ignorance & incompetence are appalling & you continue to demonstrate that every time you open your mouth!” 

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Her comments come as a number of critics continue to slam Trump over his administration's efforts to combat the outbreak in the U.S., which has reported over 163,400 cases of the virus so far, according to the latest John Hopkins University data

In another tweet, Waters took aim at the president for initially saying earlier this month that he was hopeful of the country “opened up” by Easter in efforts to boost the economy before he ultimately said on Sunday that the government would be keeping its social distancing guidelines in place until the end of April.

“Trump, so now you’re expanding the social distancing order? Another correction b/c of your ignorant hunches,” she wrote. “You said we'd be safe by Easter! Experts always have to clean up after your "hunches." Keep your hunches 2 yourself & don’t waste experts' time correcting your stupidity!”

She also called him an “incompetent idiot” for his administration’s move in early February to send about 17.8 tons of medical supplies — which it said at the time included “masks, gowns, gauze, respirators, and other vital materials” — to help China, where the disease was first detected late last year, as some lawmakers and officials warned of the virus in the U.S.

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Waters's comments online drew viral attention on Monday, sparking criticism from some Trump supporters and enough praise from social media users to prompt "Auntie Maxine" to surge to the top of Twitter's list of trending items at one point.

She is one of a number of Democrats who have harshly criticized the president in recent weeks for his response to the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S.

Trump has pushed back against the criticism, pointing to a number of moves made by his administration that have earned positive marks in polls for his handling of the pandemic, such as restricting travel from China in late January and declaring a national emergency.

He also said earlier this month that he felt the outbreak "was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic," despite repeated comments he made downplaying the threat of the virus in the U.S. up until then.