President Donald Trump has strongly signaled in recent days that wants to soon see a relaxation of the lockdowns and “stay-at-home” orders imposed across the country in response to the coronavirus outbreak that have stalled out the economy, with the idea being that Americans need to get back to work wherever doing so is safely possible.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) apparently doesn’t share that view, and she exploded with sputtering annoyance when asked by CNN’s Dana Bash on Tuesday about Trump’s optimistic suggestion that people could soon resume a sense of normality in their lives, The Daily Caller reported.
“I don’t care!”
Following some initial discussion of how the House would handle voting on a massive coronavirus economic stimulus package prepared by the Senate, Bash noted the recent comments from President Trump suggesting that Americans needed to get back to work soon, and she specifically cited his assertion that the “cure” for the pandemic — a complete economic and societal shutdown — cannot be worse than the disease itself.
Pelosi insisted that the health and well-being of the American people and “stopping the spread of the disease” was more important than a resumption of economic activity. “I don’t have time to follow people’s twits, tweets, Twitters, whatever, tweets, so don’t expect me to comment on them,” she said.
Bash interjected to say that the president had done more than just tweet and had actually made public statements about reopening the economy soon.
Pelosi, however, didn’t want to hear it, as she — quite agitated — repeated, “I don’t care. I don’t care! I don’t care!”
Pelosi slams Trump’s optimism
Asked for her opinion on the idea, the speaker angrily said, “My opinion is it’s not scientifically-based. It’s a — he’s notion-mongering as he does almost every day, so rather than waste any time on commenting on the president, I would rather spend our time focusing on the fact that any president or anybody with responsibility should be scientifically-inclined, evidence-based, data, what’s going to make the difference.”
Pelosi proceeded to suggest that the all-out effort to find a “cure” for the coronavirus was a “light at the end of the tunnel” to which the American people could look forward.
“What the president is suggesting is that, that light at the end of the tunnel could be a train coming at us if people are out and about in a way that spreads the disease further,” Pelosi said.
“But I’m not here to pick a fight with the president,” she continued. “We’re here to get a job done with this legislation, and I don’t want to waste any energy on his tweets.” A moment later, Pelosi flatly added, “I’m too busy to be bothered about his tweets, and that’s just the way it is.”
Missing the point
Speaker Pelosi, along with many others in the anti-Trump brigade, seems to have latched on to a notion of their own dictating that the response to the coronavirus is an either/or proposition, where Americans must decide between a complete shutdown of everything to try and save every life or the immediate lifting of every single restriction, resulting in more infections and deaths from COVID-19.
But that isn’t at all what Trump said or even implied, as he has instead noted that resuming economic activity would be done in a thoughtful and incremental manner where possible. Unfortunately, Pelosi just made it clear that she doesn’t care to make that particular distinction.