“The president took unprecedented action at the very front end of coronavirus.”
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) brings us the damning four seconds of video you can see above, from a longer social media video highlighting some of the most poorly-aged words to be found in 2020 political parlance–endangered Senate Republicans praising President Donald Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic:
The DSCC released a new video today calling out vulnerable GOP Senate candidates for failing to hold President Trump accountable for botching the coronavirus response. Republicans on the ballot have openly praised Trump’s response and shown little willingness to hold him accountable — even in the face of growing evidence over the last several months of the White House’s failure to contain the surging outbreak.
Just this weekend, Trump repeated his claim that the virus is “going to disappear” on its own, has threatened to hold federal funding hostage unless schools fully reopen, and is now trying to block funding for testing and contact tracing. Senate Republicans are now attempting to distance themselves from Trump’s inadequate response, even as they “have avoided direct confrontation” with a president who exercises “nearly total control over his party.”
The failed leadership from Washington Republicans has compounded the crisis and the United States has led the world in reported coronavirus cases and deaths, as more than 50 million American workers have filed initial claims for unemployment relief. Even as Republican senators return to Washington after failing for months to take action on additional coronavirus relief, they are prioritizing liability protections for corporations, looking to “cut taxes for people who have jobs while cutting benefits for the unemployed,” and obstructing “any new aid for states and cities.”
Sen. Cory Gardner’s wince-inducing assertion that “the president took unprecedented action at the very front end of coronavirus” came during a March 12th interview on the far-right Denver AM radio station KNUS. If we recall correctly, this claim was in reference to travel restrictions imposed on China in February, which we now know were imposed far too late–and too weakly–to contain the by-then global spread. The “travel ban” on China succeeded in making a certain class of xenophobic American voter feel good, but did nothing to protect Americans from infection.
And today, of course, the COVID-19 travel bans going into effect are for the purpose of protecting the world from Americans, not protecting Americans. Since Cory Gardner praised Trump for his “unprecedented action at the very front end of coronavirus” on March 12, the COVID-19 death toll in the United States has grown from 38 to 140,630.
Does Cory Gardner regret these words? Perhaps the better question is, how can he not?
But no matter how many Americans die, the words cannot be unsaid.