Washington senator 'so angry and frustrated' by Trump's coronavirus response

Washington Sen. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurraySenate votes to reauthorize intel programs with added legal protections The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Rep. Zeldin says Congress must help states; Fauci's warning; Dems unveil T bill The Hill's 12:30 Report: Fauci testifies, discusses students returning in August MORE (D) said she is “so angry and frustrated” by President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump retweets personal attacks on Clinton, Pelosi, Abrams Biden swipes at Trump: 'Presidency is about a lot more than tweeting from your golf cart' GOP sues California over Newsom's vote-by-mail order MORE’s response to the coronavirus outbreak as the illness ravages her home state.

"Look, from day one, when we started seeing this grow and develop in China and continue to grow rapidly and expansively, all of us should have been aware that issues like a virus don’t stay in one place. That we are a global community, people travel," Murray told BuzzFeed News in an interview on Friday.

"Instead, the reaction from the federal government or from the person in the White House, in particular, was 'no worries, be happy,'" she said. "And I am so angry and frustrated at that."

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Murray, the top Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, has been a frequent critic of the White House’s response to the pandemic, saying as early as January that the administration needed to ramp up efforts to curb the virus’s spread.

Democrats on Capitol Hill have particularly pointed to the administration’s slow rollout of testing at the start of the outbreak in the U.S., saying the faltering response and unavailability of test kits helped the disease spread faster. 

“It seems to me, from day one, the message from the top [of] this administration has been to downplay it,” Murray said. “I don’t believe in panicking people, but I believe that our response as a country has to be ... a sense of urgency.”

Murray’s comments came hours before the House passed a stimulus package early Saturday morning, which included provisions for paid sick or family leave and unemployment insurance and guaranteed that all Americans can get free diagnostic testing for the illness.

There have been over 2,000 confirmed cases in the U.S., with the plurality occurring in Washington state, where 37 people have died.