Rep. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersAdvocates call on top Democrats for 0B in housing investments Cori Bush hits her stride by drawing on activist past Cawthorn to introduce resolution condemning political violence after warning of 'bloodshed' if elections are 'rigged' MORE (D-Calif.) took aim at President TrumpDonald TrumpOhio Republican who voted to impeach Trump says he won't seek reelection Youngkin breaks with Trump on whether Democrats will cheat in the Virginia governor's race Trump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race MORE on Thursday, saying he is more concerned with protecting Confederate monuments than halting the spread of the coronavirus.
In a lengthy statement issued by the congresswoman's press office, Waters excoriated the president, calling him "an incompetent and heartless man who is more focused on saving statues of slaveholders, Confederate generals, and racists, than protecting the health of living and breathing Americans."
“The United States remains the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, with more than 2.4 million cases and more than 124,000 deaths. My home state of California, Arizona, Texas, and Florida have seen their coronavirus cases skyrocket in the past two weeks," Waters continued.
"On Tuesday, Texas and California set records for having more than 5,000 coronavirus cases in a 24-hour period, and 33 states have reported a spike in their weekly average of coronavirus cases. Instead of using the full power of his office to fight this deadly pandemic, Donald Trump would rather ignore the coronavirus and call in U.S. marshals to confront protestors who are taking down memorials to racist Confederate generals and slaveholders," she said.
Waters's statement is one of the sharpest Democratic responses to the president's rhetoric in social media posts and recent public comments aimed at demonstrators around the country, many of whom have targeted statues depicting members of the Confederacy or other historical figures for vandalism or destruction in recent days.
The protests began weeks ago following the death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed in Minneapolis police custody. Video of his arrest showed a white officer kneeling on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes while the man pleaded for medical assistance.
Trump has vowed to direct law enforcement to prosecute those involved in the destruction of federal or state monuments even as many localities have opted to remove such monuments in response to the protests.