As people throughout the world continue to fight the coronavirus, some in Congress have used the occasion of the pandemic to . . . attack President Trump. At the forefront of the attacks is a presidential aspirant himself: Joe Biden. His efforts have essentially gone unnoticed, however, as he has become less relevant and seemingly forgotten during this difficult time.
Unfortunately, and to dismay of many, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has not retreated from national attention.
Obviously, personal attacks on this president are nothing new. But Pelosi’s recent comments took things to a new low and exceeded all bounds of human decency. Pelosi blamed the president for the tragic loss of life resulting from this virus. Her statements are not only vile but un-American. They also make it difficult to tell whose side Pelosi is really on.
“As the president fiddles, people are dying,” Pelosi said last Sunday. “We just have to take every precaution.” The vile nature of her comments cannot be overstated. As Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) pointed out:
This is the same Speaker of the House who held up the bill in the Senate for days because she wanted same-day voting. She wanted carbon neutrality for the airlines. She is the one that held up the package in the Senate for days. . . . So it’s the most shameful, disgusting thing I have heard yet, and it needs to stop.
Not only is Pelosi’s comment disgusting; it is also incorrect. Trump’s decision in January to bar travel from China to the United States likely slowed the spread of the virus and saved many lives. As reported by the Federalist, “Trump’s China travel ban reduced arrivals from the hotspot to the United States by 90 percent and ‘prevent[ed] more cases from China coming into the United States.’” His leadership since then has also been exemplary and decisive and has further preserved the lives of American citizens.
Here’s the trouble: Rather than standing with the president and supporting the president’s efforts to tackle the effects of a global crisis here at home, she chose to launch a vile, unsupported, and shameful attack in which she tried to attribute the unfortunate loss of life resulting from this virus to the president’s initial reaction and response.
Pelosi is not just a mere politician. As speaker of the House, she is third-in-line to the presidency. With that role comes responsibility, including the responsibility to represent Congress with dignity and class, maintain the integrity of Congress (or whatever may be left of it), help to unite the country during difficult times, and to stand behind and support the president’s efforts in a national crisis (at least publicly).
For someone who is alleged to be concerned with protecting American lives, her words and deeds raise questions as to where her loyalties lie.
Remember, it was Pelosi who toured San Francisco’s Chinatown on February 24 where she complained about alleged racism against Asian Americans as a result of the Chinese coronavirus. During that tour, Pelosi invited others to join her and to stand together, telling the crowd:
It’s exciting to be here, especially at this time to be able to be unified with our community. We want to be vigilant about what is out there in other places. We want to be careful about how we deal with it, but we do want to say to people “Come to Chinatown. Here we are, careful, safe and come join us.”
It is unclear how she thought these actions might slow the spread of the disease. The hypocrisy here is self-evident. How can Pelosi possibly complain about Trump’s initial response to the virus and blame him for the subsequent loss of life when she encouraged people to get together on the streets of San Francisco a month before her diatribe against the president? Is Pelosi also responsible for the loss of life due to her irresponsible call for people to congregate to support her ridiculous cause?
It was also Pelosi who objected to Trump’s expanded travel ban that was meant to curb the spread of the coronavirus and to protect American lives. As reported by the Hill, Pelosi said:
The Trump Administration’s expansion of its outrageous, un-American travel ban threatens our security, our values and the rule of law. The sweeping rule, barring more than 350 million individuals from predominantly African nations from traveling to the United States, is discrimination disguised as policy.
With this latest callous decision, the President has doubled down on his cruelty and further undermined our global leadership, our Constitution and our proud heritage as a nation of immigrants.
Pelosi’s stance appears to put the interests of others (non-citizens) ahead of the health and well-being of Americans. Clearly, the president’s directive was not un-American, nor did it threaten the nation’s security or the rule of law. On the contrary, it was specifically meant to protect Americans from further exposure to a dangerous virus in the midst of a terrible pandemic. It was meant to save American lives!
Whatever side Pelosi is on, it’s clearly not the side of the American people.