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

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSchumer names coronavirus czar candidates in plea to White House Democrats struggle to keep up with Trump messaging on coronavirus Schumer: Fired inspector general will be remembered as a 'hero' 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 MurphyDemocrats seize on Trump's firing of intelligence community watchdog Testing struggles emerge as key hurdle to reopening country Democratic senators call on domestic airlines to issue cash refunds for travelers 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.