Schumer: Trump coronavirus response marked by 'towering and dangerous incompetence'

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerObama says US 'desperately needs' Biden legislation ahead of key votes Congress shows signs of movement on stalled Biden agenda Schumer gets shoutout, standing ovation from crowd at Tony Awards MORE (D-N.Y.) publicly fumed on Tuesday over the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus. 

Schumer, speaking from the Senate floor, said the administration’s handling of the virus has been marked by “towering and dangerous incompetence.”

“Here in the United States, the Trump administration has been caught flat-footed. The administration has no plan to deal with the coronavirus, no plan and seemingly no urgency to develop one,” Schumer said. 

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Schumer’s comments come after the administration provided a closed-door briefing on the virus to all senators on Tuesday morning. 

The Department of Homeland Security is requesting $2.5 billion. That would be divided between the $1.25 billion in new funding, with the rest to be taken from existing health programs, including $535 million from fighting Ebola. 

Democrats have lashed out at the decision to shift money from the Ebola account, with Schumer accusing the administration of “robbing Peter to pay Paul.”

“The Trump administration is scrambling to respond. We have a crisis, and the Trump administration is trying to build an airplane while already in mid-flight,” Schumer added. 

Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyThis week: Democrats hit make-or-break moment for Biden Democrats urge Biden to go all in with agenda in limbo Congress facing shutdown, debt crisis with no plan B MORE (D-Conn.) also appeared frustrated after the briefing, saying the administration’s response to the virus is “frightening” and “will cost lives.”

“Many of us were calling for major emergency funding weeks ago and Trump ignored us. Now it’s likely too little and too late,” he added in a tweet.