In a clear sign that they’re not truly worried about the COVID-19 threat, many Democrats are using it as another club to hit President Trump — facts be damned.
At Tuesday’s debate, Mike Bloomberg smugly asserted, “There’s nobody here to figure out what the hell we should be doing.” Trump, he claimed, has “defunded Centers for Disease Control, CDC, so we don’t have the organization we need.”
Joe Biden chimed in: “He cut the funding for the entire effort.”
It’s a lie that can only sow fear: The CDC budget is higher than when Trump took office. Same for the National Institutes of Health. And top career officials from both have been working with the White House for weeks to direct the US response.
Elizabeth Warren, meanwhile, insisted the administration “is absolutely bumbling the response to coronavirus” — with no details, because she can’t point to any Team Trump mistakes, unless she wants to complain about the COVID-19 travel bans.
“The administration has no plan to deal with the coronavirus,” Chuck Schumer thundered on the Senate floor. Not true.
As The Associated Press reports, “The public-health system has a playbook to follow for pandemic preparation — regardless of who’s president or whether specific instructions are coming from the White House. Those plans were put into place in anticipation of another flu pandemic, but are designed to work for any respiratory-borne disease.”
The AP also quotes John Auerbach, president of the nonpartisan Trust for America’s Health: “The CDC’s response has been excellent, as it has been in the past.” Auerbach also notes that CDC’s top scientific ranks have remained stable during the past three years.
The AP’s headline, by the way: “AP FACT CHECK: Democrats distort coronavirus readiness.”
Some Democrats don’t even want to hear the facts. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) disrupted a closed-door Friday meeting with officials from the CDC, NIH and State Department by launching into a tirade about the administration’s supposed failings. Several Republicans walked out. And Democratic Rep. Donna Shalala, a former US health secretary, told Politico, “No one wanted to hear that, either the Democrats or Republicans. We just wanted to hear the substance.”
Quit playing politics, folks. Spreading false information can only undermine the nation’s efforts to face a potential pandemic. It’s beyond shameful.
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