Donald Trump accuses Democrats of 'fearmongering' over coronavirus

The president made the claim on Twitter on Monday morning continuing a spat which has seen him accused of politicizing the health crisis as America struggles to deal with the outbreak on US soil.
Two people have died from the coronavirus in the US and new cases were reported over the weekend in Washington state, New York, Florida, Rhode Island and Illinois. There are about 75 cases of the respiratory illness recorded in the US.
Most who contract coronavirus survive but it can develop into pneumonia-like illness and the elderly and those with chronic health problems are especially at risk.
According to the World Health Organization more than 87,000 cases have been confirmed worldwide and nearly 3,000 deaths. Most are in China but the illness is spreading.
International financial markets have plummeted and travel, business and sporting events have been increasingly affected.
The Trump administration announced new measures to contain the outbreak on Saturday and sought to calm fears with appearances across the US media by figures including officials of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US health secretary, Alex Azar.
But Mike Pence, in charge of the White House taskforce, caused controversy when he refused to condemn remarks by Trump supporters including Donald Trump Jr which claimed Democrats were politicizing the outbreak.
Appearing on Fox News on Friday, Trump Jr said: “For them to try to take a pandemic and seemingly hope that it comes here and kills millions of people so that they could end Donald Trump’s streak of winning is a new level of sickness.”
The vice-president told NBC on Sunday: “When you see voices on our side pushing back on outrageous and irresponsible rhetoric on the other side, I think that’s important, and I think it’s justified.”
In his Monday tweet, the president returned to the offensive.
“I was criticized by the Democrats when I closed the Country down to China many weeks ahead of what almost everyone recommended,” he wrote. “Saved many lives. [Democrats] were working the Impeachment Hoax. They didn’t have a clue! Now they are fear mongering. Be calm & vigilant!”
Trump did not close travel from China but did impose controls. Several airlines have suspended flights to and from China.
Media coverage of the outbreak has been criticized but Trump has also attracted flak for placing himself front and center of a White House response that has been reported to be chaotic and uncoordinated. Trump has also been criticized for seeming to play down the seriousness of the outbreak.
On Sunday, Joe Biden, who won the South Carolina primary the night before, tweeted: “Only Donald Trump could make the coronavirus about him. This president is dangerous.”
Trump’s use of the word “hoax” revisited remarks at a rally in South Carolina on Friday night. At a White House press briefing on Saturday, Trump insisted he used it in reference to the Democrats’ behaviour around the outbreak, rather than the outbreak itself.

As 2020 begins…

… we’re asking readers, like you, to make a new year contribution in support of the Guardian’s open, independent journalism. This has been a turbulent decade across the world – protest, populism, mass migration and the escalating climate crisis. The Guardian has been in every corner of the globe, reporting with tenacity, rigour and authority on the most critical events of our lifetimes. At a time when factual information is both scarcer and more essential than ever, we believe that each of us deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.
More people than ever before are reading and supporting our journalism, in more than 180 countries around the world. And this is only possible because we made a different choice: to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.
We have upheld our editorial independence in the face of the disintegration of traditional media – with social platforms giving rise to misinformation, the seemingly unstoppable rise of big tech and independent voices being squashed by commercial ownership. The Guardian’s independence means we can set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Our journalism is free from commercial and political bias – never influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This makes us different. It means we can challenge the powerful without fear and give a voice to those less heard.
None of this would have been attainable without our readers’ generosity – your financial support has meant we can keep investigating, disentangling and interrogating. It has protected our independence, which has never been so critical. We are so grateful.
As we enter a new decade, we need your support so we can keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. And that is here for the long term. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable.

Post a Comment

0 Comments