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Pelosi: Trump 'delusional' that US has turned corner on COVID-19

Pelosi: Trump 'delusional' that US has turned corner on COVID-19
© Greg Nash

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiThe Memo: Trump leaves changed nation in his wake New York court worker arrested, accused of threats related to inauguration GOP Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene referred to Parkland school shooting as 'false flag' event on Facebook MORE (D-Calif.) on Friday rejected President TrumpDonald TrumpLil Wayne gets 11th hour Trump pardon Trump grants clemency to more than 100 people, including Bannon Trump expected to pardon Bannon: reports MORE's rosy assessment that the country is winning the fight against the coronavirus, saying there's a long road ahead while calling on Republicans to support another huge COVID-19 relief package.

"The president is delusional when he says we've turned the corner on this," Pelosi told MSNBC. "We haven't. We have miles to go."

During Thursday night's presidential debate with Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump grants clemency to more than 100 people, including Bannon Scalise bringing Donna Brazile as guest to Biden inauguration Sidney Powell withdraws 'kraken' lawsuit in Georgia MORE, Trump downplayed the severity of the virus, noting his own recovery from COVID-19 and claiming his administration's handling of the pandemic had prevented millions of deaths.

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"If you take a look at what we’ve done in terms of goggles and masks and gowns and everything else, and in particular ventilators — we’re now making ventilators all over the world, thousands and thousands a month distributing them all over the world," he said.

"It will go away," he added. "And as I say, we’re rounding the turn. We’re rounding the corner. It’s going away."

The United States had seen a spike in coronavirus cases in April, another in Jul and is now experiencing a third surge. On Thursday, the country reported more than 75,000 new infections, a 32 percent jump from two weeks earlier, and more than 800 deaths, bringing the total number of fatalities above 223,000 — the highest in the world.

The rising numbers have threatened the summer's fragile economic recovery, as jobless claims are increasing, small businesses — particularly those in the service industries — are struggling to attract customers and the federal relief approved earlier in the year is drying up.

Pelosi has been in frequent talks with Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven MnuchinTreasury imposes additional sanctions on Cuba over allegations of 'serious human rights abuse' Treasury Department sanctions inner circle of Russian agent Derkach for election interference Sanders defends push to impeach Trump: Insurrection won't be tolerated MORE in search of an agreement on another massive stimulus bill. The pair has passed proposals back and forth in recent weeks as they hope to iron out the differences that remain, particularly over funding for schools and for state and local governments.

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The Speaker said she's still hoping for a breakthrough that would allow Congress to pass more relief before the Nov. 3 elections.

"We've put pen to paper. We're writing the bill, and hopefully we'll be able to resolve some of the differences," she said. "We could do that before the election — if the president wants to."

But the odds are getting longer that such a timeline is possible.

Pelosi and Mnuchin did not meet on Thursday, as initially planned. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump has talked to associates about forming new political party: report McConnell, Schumer fail to cut power-sharing deal amid filibuster snag McConnell keeps GOP guessing on Trump impeachment MORE (R-Ky.), singularly focused on seating Amy Coney BarrettAmy Coney BarrettOn The Money: Yellen champions big spending at confirmation hearing | Republicans express concerns, but little opposition | Debt cloud hangs over Trump post-presidency Barrett hears climate case against her father's ex-employer Shell Senate Democrats leery of nixing filibuster MORE to the Supreme Court, has been opposed to a pre-election stimulus vote. And Pelosi indicated Friday that House Democrats — who have passed two separate relief bills ignored by the Senate — have no intention of voting on a third without assurances that the upper chamber will consider it.

"We want this to be a bipartisan bill, the next bill to come to the floor, one that removes all doubt that it would become the law," she said.