Friday, April 3, 2020

President Trump Warns Democrats Against Coronavirus Response 'witch hunt'

AP Photo/Alex Brandon
President Trump warned House Democrats on Thursday to back off plans for what he called another “witch hunt” investigation, this time over his administration’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.
“This is not the time for politics, endless partisan investigations — here we go again,” Mr. Trump said at his daily coronavirus briefing at the White House. “It’s not any time for witch hunts. It’s time to get this enemy defeated.”
Mr. Trump hammered Capitol Hill Democrats for organizing an inquest of the administration in the middle of a health crisis as he hinted that federal officials will advise that Americans wear masks to limit the spread of coronavirus, only to then suggest a scarf might be better.
“If people wanted to wear them, they can,” Mr. Trump said of masks.
Deborah Birx, the coordinator of the coronavirus task force, said the forthcoming advisory will not be a substitute for hand-washing and standing far apart from others, because people tend to touch their faces and might get a false sense of security from masks.
For his part, Mr. Trump scolded Democrats after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday at least two of her committee chairs — Reps. Bernie Thompson of Homeland Security and Adam Schiff of Intelligence — are calling for a 9/11-like after-action review of the administration’s handling of the coronavirus threat.
Mrs. Pelosi said there is “absolutely” a need for such an investigation, but not right now.
The president said Democrats have a lousy track record of investigating him, saying the Russia investigation and the impeachment inquiry over aid to Ukraine have “already done extraordinary damage to our country.”
“We want to fight for American lives, not waste time and build up my poll numbers because that’s all they’re doing,” Mr. Trump said. “Conducting these partisan investigations in the middle of a pandemic is a really big waste of time.”
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