House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Sunday that President Trump cannot reopen the crashing U.S. economy “based on falsehoods.”
“I’m afraid that he’s going to act on the set basis of what he’s acted before,” the California Democrat said on ABC’s “This Week.” “It’s a hoax. It’s magically going to disappear.”
“If he continues to predicate the action that we take on a false premise, then we’re in further danger, and his earlier delay and denial caused deaths,” she said. “And so it’s very important that we walk the line that is close to evidence, data, science as we go forward and not whimsy, magic hoax allegations and placing blame instead of taking responsibility.”
Trump laid out a three-phase plan for reopening the government last week.
In phase one, restaurants — but not bars — movie theaters, sporting venues, places of worship and gyms could all reopen, as long as they adhere to strict social distancing rules. Schools that are closed should stay closed and visits to senior living facilities and hospitals should be continue to be banned.
In phase two, school and other organized youth activities can return. Shopping centers can reopen but gatherings of more than 50 people should be avoided. Social distancing rules could be relaxed in restaurants, movie theaters and other large venues. Bars could reopen, with small occupancy numbers. Telework should continue wherever possible.
And in phase three, even vulnerable people could resume normal activities. Workers could return to offices and workplaces, and large public venues — like arenas and sports stadiums — could operate under limited social distancing rules.
But Pelosi was not optimistic about getting to phase three anytime soon.
“Let me just say about that, the president has established these guidelines,” the Speaker said. “First, he said, I have sole authority to open up states or close states. The next thing he said was, it’s up to the governors. When the governors have said they want to follow the guidelines, he’s now criticizing them by siding with people who are objecting to their following the guidelines, the governors following the guidelines that have been forward by the Center for Disease Control and others.
“So it is — I don’t know that anybody can give you a timeline. We’re prayerful that there will be a cure soon, that there will be a vaccine — that will take longer. That’s really the answer. And it is again, the sooner we commit to shelter-in-place across the board, testing, shelter-in-place, treatment, contact tracing — that’s the path to opening the economy and putting people back to work,” Pelosi said.
In an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” Pelosi claimed the Trump Administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has been a “failure.”
“Leaders — leaders take responsibility. So I said he’s a weak leader. He doesn’t take responsibility. He places blame — blame on others,” Pelosi told host Chris Wallace. “And that might have been OK before, but we cannot continue down a path that is, again I’ll come back to science, science, science, evidence, data on how we should go forward.”
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