Rep. Ayanna Pressley declared Monday that President Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic is “akin to war crimes.”
In a virtual press conference Monday with the freshman “Squad” and other progressive leaders, Mrs. Pressley advocated for the next phase of coronavirus stimulus to provide “robust and long-term” financial assistance to individuals, regardless of immigration status, and to “repair the systemic injustices” that are disproportionately killing black people.
“The virus does not discriminate by race, income or immigration status and neither should our relief efforts,” the Massachusetts Democrat said. “This hurt is unprecedented, it is being felt by everyone, and the relief should be felt by everyone.
“This truly is a crisis within a crisis,” she added. “With this fourth stimulus package … we have a responsibility to repair the systemic injustices — systemic and structural injustice. The fact that this is being disproportionately bore by black and brown communities is no surprise to anyone on this phone.”
Mrs. Pressley went on to claim that “discriminatory and hateful and hurtful legislation” has been killing black and brown people for years and that the pandemic is just causing it to happen “much more bluntly.”
“So as far as I’m concerned, what’s happening with this administration, it’s akin to war crimes — criminal negligence, science denials, a sluggish response,” she said without elaborating further.
“And so we find ourselves in the position of playing catch up in the midst of a pandemic,” she said. “Which is the last place that you want to be in the midst of any public health crisis and certainly not a pandemic, is working from behind.
“We just have to reject any calls for a return to normal, because that normal is one that was slowly killing people,” she added. “That normal was one that did not provide adequate health care, that normal is one that abandoned our most vulnerable communities in times of crisis.”