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The Guardians of Democracy

The Guardians of Democracy

McConnell Blames ‘Impeachment’ For Distracting Trump’s Coronavirus Response, Not His Golf Trips


McConnell Blames ‘Impeachment’ For Distracting Trump’s Coronavirus Response, Not His Golf Trips

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Tuesday that the Democratic-led impeachment of President Trump distracted the administration’s attention away from the coronavirus crisis, defending the president amid sharp criticism for the nation’s slow response to the spreading coronavirus pandemic

In an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, McConnell attempted to shift blame for the disastrous initial federal response on Democrats even though Trump was acquitted by the Senate on Feb. 5 — more than three weeks before the first coronavirus death in the U.S., The Washington Post reports.

“It came up while we were, you know, tied down in the impeachment trial,” McConnell told Hewitt. “And I think it diverted the attention of the government, because everything, every day was all about impeachment.”

In reality, Trump repeatedly played down the threat the virus posed toward the United States as early as January, when he declared, “We have it totally under control. . . . It’s going to be just fine.”

Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy criticized the Trump administration in early February for not taking the crisis seriously enough, tweeting at the time: “Just left the Administration briefing on Coronavirus. Bottom line: they aren’t taking this seriously enough. Notably, no request for ANY emergency funding, which is a big mistake. Local health systems need supplies, training, screening staff etc. And they need it now.”

When the first report of community transmission emerged in late February, Trump continued to dismiss the risk the virus posed to the U.S.

“It’s going to disappear,” he said. “One day, it’s like a miracle, it will disappear.”

The Post notes that “despite McConnell’s claim that impeachment distracted Trump from addressing the coronavirus, the president did find enough time in January and February to hold a host of ‘Keep America Great’ campaign rallies and fundraisers across the country.”

Trump also found time to take multiple trips to his golf resorts, including a trip to his West Palm Beach club in Florida on Saturday, March 7 and Sunday, March 8, reports Slate.

Pitcher Patrick Corbin posted a series of photos on his Instagram of his golf outing with the president on March 8. “So this happened today,” he wrote. “Got to golf with the President!”

According to Slate: “It also wasn’t the first time Trump went to the golf club over the weekend. On Saturday, he spent several hours at his West Palm Beach club. On Saturday night he told a reporter he wasn’t ‘concerned at all’ that the virus appeared to be getting closer to the White House. The president then went to a birthday party for former Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle, who is dating Donald Trump Jr., at Mar-a-Lago. Vice President Mike Pence, who is leading the government’s response to the coronavirus, was also in attendance.”

By Monday, March 9, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases throughout the United States had increased 13% to 607, from 537 Sunday, while one more death brought the country’s total to 22.


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