Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is raging over what he decries as the Trump administration’s inadequate response to the threat of Coronavirus. He says it is one of “towering and dangerous incompetence.”
Schumer went on:
“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.
Coronavirus is scary. If Schumer thinks that the administration is not doing the right thing, of course he must say that. But his current behavior reeks of political opportunism.
Russia. Impeachment. Coronavirus. Whatever.
The administration held a closed-door briefing on the virus to all senators on Tuesday. The Department of Homeland Security has asked for $2.5 billion to combat coronavirus.
Schumer fumes that that is not enough. If it is not, there is a simple solution: Congress can appropriate more. Instead of being helpful, Senator Schumer grandstands.
Meanwhile, San Francisco, where there has not been a single confirmed case of coronavirus so far (knock on wood–this could change of course), has declared a state of emergency.
Declaring a state of emergency is not the same as sober preparation for a serious health threat.
Could that great blue city on the bay be churning up unnecessary hysteria?
At this point, there are 53 confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. and 10 in California. Vigilance and preparation are clearly needed. Hysteria is not.
San Francisco has a high volume of travel to China. Maybe that’s an aspect of preparedness city officials might think about and then take measures?
Louisiana Congressman Cedric Richmond, who, according to Politico is looking for a big position in a Biden campaign, was interviewed on Fox last night. He slyly insinuated that the Trump administration is not addressing coronavirus by mentioning how well he thinks a previous, unnamed administration handled the Ebola outbreak.
Speaking of Ebola, Democrats are frothing because the Trump administration’s requested $2.5 to fight coronavirus would be $1.25 billion in new funding with the rest shifted from existing funding, including $535 from the Ebola program. If the Democrats believe this is a public health treat, the must say so. Grandstanding is something else.
Karl Rove addressed Schumer’s shameful politicization of coronavirus on Fox:
"Stop it, Schumer," Rove said before explaining that the $2.5 billion ask was determined by a group assembled by the president, which includes Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director Robert Redfield, National Institute of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Director Anthony Fauci, acting Homeland Security Secretary, Chad Wolf, and the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.
The politicizing of coronavirus is deeply cynical. We must hope and pray that we will find a way to come together as Americans in the face of threats.