House

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

Greg Nash

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Friday rejected President Trump’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 Biden, 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.

“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 Mnuchin 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.

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 McConnell (R-Ky.), singularly focused on seating Amy Coney Barrett 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.

Tags Amy Coney Barrett COVID-19 Donald Trump Joe Biden Mitch McConnell Nancy Pelosi Steven Mnuchin

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