Trump accuses Pelosi of trying to create a panic on coronavirus
President Trump on Wednesday accused Speaker Nancy Pelosi (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.
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.
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.”
This is what competent leadership looks like. The Speaker on Monday visited San Francisco’s Chinatown, the beautiful heart of her district, to urge calm and support local businesses. Ridiculous to suggest her actions have caused panic. More projection from @realDonaldTrump. https://t.co/YEmf9pi1hv
— Drew Hammill (@Drew_Hammill) February 27, 2020
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.