Trump accuses Pelosi of trying to create a panic on coronavirus

President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump takes shot at new GOP candidate in Ohio over Cleveland nickname GOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default MORE on Wednesday accused Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi says House members would not vote on spending bill topline higher than Senate's McConnell privately urged GOP senators to oppose debt ceiling hike On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default MORE (D-Calif.) of trying to create a panic over the coronavirus, hitting back after she said he didn’t know what he was talking about on the subject. 

“She’s trying to create a panic,” Trump told reporters in a rare appearance in the White House briefing room to discuss the virus, adding there was no reason for one.

Pelosi earlier on Wednesday said, “I don’t think the president knows what he’s talking about” when it comes to fighting the virus. 

ADVERTISEMENT

She also visited San Francisco's Chinatown earlier this week to urge calm in the face of the virus and say it is still safe to come visit businesses there.

"We think it’s very safe to be in Chinatown and hope that others will come," she said.

Trump hit back hard in an extended answer to a question from a reporter while standing alongside public health experts at a briefing on the virus. 

“I think Speaker Pelosi’s incompetent,” he said, adding that he thinks Democrats will lose control of the House. 

“I think she’s not thinking about the country,” he added. “She should be saying we have to work together.”

Trump also has criticized the media's coverage of the virus as overly negative as he seeks to reassure the public. 

ADVERTISEMENT

He added criticism of Pelosi's district in California.

“She should go back to her district and clean it up," he said.

“We should all be working together," he added. 

A Pelosi spokesperson responded to Trump's criticism, tweeting, "This is what competent leadership looks like."

Pelosi and even some congressional Republicans have criticized the administration's $2.5 billion emergency funding request as not enough money. Trump said Wednesday he would accept as much money as Congress wanted to provide. 

Updated: 8:47 p.m.