Speaker Nancy Pelosi indicated on Thursday that the House will most likely not return to session later this month, her most blatant signal yet that Congress, like the rest of the country, might remain closed for weeks or even longer as the coronavirus epidemic continues.
Pelosi issued a warning to President Trump during an interview, urging him not to prematurely rush to reopen major segments of the country before the coronavirus is under control, which she said could further send the U.S. economy into a tailspin.
“Nobody can really tell you that and I would never venture a guess. I certainly don’t think we should do it sooner than we should,” Pelosi said when asked if she still planned to bring the House back on April 20, which is the current target date.
“This has taken an acceleration from when we started this…Little did we know then that at this point, we’d be further confined.”
“Hopefully we’re going to be opening up …. very, very, very, very soon, I hope,” Trump said at the daily White House coronavirus briefing when asked about reopening the country. “We’re going to open up strong, very successfully and I’d like to say even more successfully than before.”
“I would hope that the scientific community would weigh in and say, ‘You can’t do this, it is only going to make matters worse if you go out too soon,’” Pelosi said when asked if she was worried Trump, with the purpose of securing a second term in the White House, would try to reopen the country prematurely.
“What is it? Is it testing so that we know what we’re dealing with? Is it some standard as to how someone else would be received into a workplace?” Pelosi said. “We have to know. It’s data. And that’s something that I haven’t seen as the basis for any decision making. In fact, I’ve seen the opposite.”
When asked about Trump’s daily briefings, Pelosi said-
“I don’t watch them. I sometimes see inadvertently or just by accident some of the news reporting on it,” Pelosi said of the briefings, which often last for more than two hours. “But I just don’t have time for that, I am a busy person. I have a day job, and it’s not to watch the president contradict himself on TV.”