House Speaker Nancy Pelosi slammed President Trump during a private call with her caucus on Monday, saying he was gravely endangering Americans if he rushes to reopen the economy by the end of this month.
Pelosi criticized Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, telling Democrats it was “almost sinful” how his administration had failed to make testing available to all Americans and quickly address the mask, gown and glove supply shortage in hospitals across the country.
“The more misrepresentations he puts out there, the more it obscures the truth,” Pelosi reportedly told Democrats, according to multiple sources on the call. “We have to insist upon the truth — what they’re saying is not knowledge, is not facts, is not real.”
She said it was up to Democrats to speak out about the administration’s failures, “And we cannot let them lie about it,” she added, according to Democrats on the call.
With the caseload still growing in the United States, many senior House Democrats have called for Congress to come up with its own plan to reopen the nation, rather than relying on the Trump Administration.
“Basically, we’ve been operating without a national plan, and the administration just veers from one set of talking points to another without giving us a plan,” Representative Jamie Raskin, a co-sponsor of the bill, said on Monday.
“Our point is that we need a serious structure and process in place in order to institute a reopening that will be safe and enduring,” Raskin said, labeling the president’s initial hopes to reopen the country on Easter “patently ridiculous.”
The legislation would also serve to create a federal Health Equipment Production Board to resolve complaints that the White House’s hands-off approach has led to a bidding war among states for essential medical gear.
“if you pick up the newspaper, everybody’s saying the same thing, which is that America is hungry for a national plan to get us through the crisis and to reopen commerce and social life,” Raskin said. “And we don’t have a national plan.”