The coronavirus, also referred to as COVID-19, has swept the world up in panic and uncertainty. It seemed that the United States changed overnight as businesses closed down and citizens were ordered to stay home to protect their health against the deadly virus. It all appeared to happen so fast that no one could have predicted that our country would end up in this situation.
However, there were many warning signs and outcries from other countries and health officials that the Republicans chose to ignore. In the Washington Post article, Republicans were warned. Yet they persisted in defending Trump, journalist Dana Milbank reviews all the ways Republicans chose to ignore the coronavirus in favor of their own political gains.
For instance, Senator Mitch McConnell is one Republican who chooses to play the blame game by trying to put all the responsibility of the nation’s mishandling of the coronavirus and the Trump administration’s failure to prepare on the Democrats. On the contrary, Democrats were urging for something to be done about the deadly virus that was spreading across the world late last year.
Unfortunately, the coronavirus happened around the same time as Trump’s impeachment. Instead of the government focusing on the deadly pandemic, they were more worried about politics. In fact, during the weeks of the impeachment trial, public health experts expressed their concerns and warnings about the seriousness of the virus. It was during this time that many Senate Democrats and even some Republicans urged for action.
During the impeachment, demand for the administration to declare a public health emergency for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to gain access to more funds was brought forth by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. These demands were viewed as a political game to the Republicans.
It wasn’t until weeks after the impeachment trial ended and the pandemic was spreading even faster the McConnell even spoke about it. When asked about the virus and what administration officials were doing about it, his answer was, “Well, I think Senator Blunt knows more about that than anyone else. Roy, do you want to take another shot at that?”. Clearly, warnings over the virus were not being taken as seriously as political gains for the Republicans.
The Republicans try to put the blame on the Democrats but during the impeachment and early warning signs of this global pandemic, Senate Democrats issued 32 warnings, requests, and statements to take action against the virus. While there were some even Republicans who raised concerns early on about the virus, nothing was done about it. President Trump and his political allies in Congress chose to put politics over national safety.