- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 17, 2020

Democrats accused President Trump Thursday of abandoning blue states amid the coronavirus pandemic for political gain.

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, chair of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, said it was “unconscionable” the president would divide coronavirus deaths along party lines.

“Instead of addressing this shortfall at a national level the president and his political advisors are continuing to downplay the problem and undermine scientific recommendations,” the South Carolina Democrat said at a press conference.

He went on to describe how a public health expert that consulted with the White House coronavirus task force claimed that the administration intentionally chose not to adopt a national strategy at the early onset because it was politically beneficial that the outbreak began primarily in Democratic-leaning states.

Mr. Clyburn added that his committee intends to investigate “several instances of political meddling,” in the national response to the outbreak.



The pushback from Democrats came after the president blamed “blue states” run by Democrats for bumping up the nation’s coronavirus rates.

Mr. Trump told reporters at a press conference Wednesday the United States was handling the virus well compared to other nations “despite the fact that the blue states had tremendous death rates.”

“If you take the blue states out,” he continued, “we’re at a level that I don’t think anybody in the world would be at. We’re really at a very low level but some of the states — they were blue states, and blue-state management.”

Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, said Mr. Trump’s comments were “outrageous.” 

“I suggest President Trump spend some time reading the stories of the men and women across the country who have passed away from this terrible virus,” Mr. Schumer said earlier on the Senate floor. “Many of these families were unable to hold funeral services for their loved ones for fear of spreading COVID.”

“Why does the outcome of an election determine if these lives should be counted?” he continued. “What kind of demented person would say that those American lives don’t count?”

Rep. Frank Pallone, New Jersey Democrat, blamed the administration for his and other states running out of money to provide tests and conduct contact tracing.

To date, the U.S. has seen 6,644,311 COVID-19 cases and 197,120 deaths, according to data from John Hopkins University.

The top five states for COVID-19 deaths are New York with 33,042 deaths, New Jersey with 16,057 deaths, California with 14,739 deaths, Texas with 14,738 deaths and Florida with 13,086 deaths. All are amongst the nation’s most populous states.

Democrats want to include $75 billion for testing, vaccine and contacting tracing resources in the next coronavirus relief bill.

The Senate GOP’s bill that sunk in the Senate last week only included $16 billion for testing and contact tracing.

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