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Regarding COVID-19, we’re all in this together. Would someone please tell Nancy Pelosi?
The House speaker appeared on CNN Sunday. The California Democrat could have tried to unite the country and rally Americans to battle the invisible coronavirus that is blasting our nation in a silent blitzkrieg. Instead, she attacked this war’s commander in chief and slurred those combatting this foreign plague.
Pelosi told “State of the Union” host Jake Tapper that “as the president fiddles, people are dying.” With those seven hideous words, Pelosi insinuated that President Trump is shrugging his shoulders as thousands of Americans drop dead. She essentially accused Trump of negligent homicide.
As for “the president fiddles,” Nervous Nancy either knowingly lied through her clenched teeth or she is as blind as a bat in a bowl of Chinese soup. Regardless, she should know that Trump is not playing the fiddle. He’s waving a conductor’s baton.
The president’s detailed, hours-long, daily briefings and press interrogations confirm that he, Vice President Mike Pence, and Trump’s team of Cabinet secretaries, agency leaders, military commanders, doctors, scientists, and CEOs are performing an almost hyperactive concerto in response to an unprecedented challenge that tumbled from the sky, like a microscopic bomb packing the power of a gigantic military explosive.
Did Pelosi not see the USNS Comfort — a former oil tanker — steam from Norfolk, Va., to Manhattan, three weeks ahead of schedule, despite MSNBC host Rachel Maddow’s veritable sworn oath that it wouldn’t? The Army Corps of Engineers and local personnel dredged the berth at Pier 90 so this 1,000-bed hospital ship could float into position without sticking in the mud. They did this in eight days.
The Comfort, which Trump called “a 70,000-ton message of hope and solidarity,” will treat non-COVID-19 patients so that Gotham’s land-bound medical centers can focus on this deadly virus’ victims.
In Pelosi’s own state, Comfort’s sister ship, Mercy, has delivered similar, priceless service from its dock in Los Angeles since last Friday.
“The fact is, every time I’ve called the president, he has quickly gotten on the line,” California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday. “When we asked to get support for that Mercy ship in southern California, he was able to direct that in real-time.”
Did Pelosi not see the Army Corps of Engineers erect a temporary 2,900-bed hospital at Manhattan’s Javits Center in three days? The Corps is building another temporary medical center at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, home of the U.S. Open.
The Corps is transforming dorms, conference centers, and commercial vacancies into infirmaries. The Corps’ Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite told ABC’s “Good Morning America:” “We’re looking right now at around 341 different facilities across all of the United States,” he said. These include eight in Pelosi’s Golden State.
Did Pelosi not see the Federal Emergency Management Agency arrange, as “Hannity” reported on Fox News Tuesday night, 100 trailers for housing, a 250-bed field hospital in Michigan, 250 ambulances for New York along with 500 emergency medical technicians and a 3,000-bed installation in New Orleans?
Did Pelosi not see the State Department, Department of Homeland Security, and National Security Council evacuate some 25,000 Americans from 50 countries since late January? Many were trapped overseas due to travel bans, canceled flights, overwhelmed travel agents, padlocked hotels and worse. They are home now.
Did Pelosi not see the Food and Drug Administration fast-track multiple new drugs for distribution and testing, not least a possible vaccine that raced from isolation of the virus’ genome to Phase I clinical trials in a record 64 days? The FDA also has green-lighted existing drugs, such as hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, for both compassionate use on patients at death’s door and research for treatment and prevention.
Did Pelosi not see what the White House calls Team USA? As Trump says, these include 50 “CEOs of the great American companies that are fulfilling their patriotic duty by producing or donating medical equipment to help meet our most urgent needs.”
Among them, 3M, Honeywell and other companies have turbocharged face mask production into the millions of units per week. Brooks Brothers, Hanes and MyPillow have shifted their assembly lines to manufacture these items. In a joint venture, Ford and GE Healthcare will produce 50,000 ventilators within 100 days and 30,000 monthly thereafter.
Pernod Ricard is using its liqueur-making equipment to make alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Boeing is 3D-printing face masks and has volunteered Dreamliner jets to deliver critical supplies.
And much more.
Did Pelosi not see Abbott Laboratories deploy a toaster-sized device that generates positive COVID-19 tests in five minutes and negative results in 13? By next week, Abbott will produce enough ID NOW machines to perform 50,000 screenings daily. The FDA approved this technology for “emergency use” within six weeks, not the usual nine months.
Did Pelosi not see Novartis and Teva donate millions of doses of hydroxychloroquine as a possible COVID-19 cure? The company did so even as the so-called “paper of record” mocked this prospect, and the Democratic governors of Michigan and Nevada prohibited doctors from prescribing and pharmacists from dispensing this 75-year-old anti-malaria drug, for no apparent reason than Trump’s hope that it might work.
Did Pelosi not see Aetna waive enrollees’ costs for COVID-19 hospitalization? Similarly, CIGNA and Humana will forego co-pays and deductibles for their COVID-19 patients.
Who exactly does Pelosi reckon is inspiring, cajoling, pushing, authorizing, and coordinating all of this? Regarding General Motors — which evidently dragged its feet as people dropped dead (never mind that taxpayers generously bailed it out during the last economic slump) — who precisely does Pelosi figure invoked the Defense Production Act to prod GM to step on the gas?
Does Pelosi think this herculean effort is being led by the Easter Bunny? Santa Claus? Hanukkah Harry?
Nope. She should thank Donald J. Trump.
It is beyond unbearable to hear Pelosi accuse Trump of fiddling. She played pizzicato for five days last week as she serenaded the (musician-hating) Kennedy Center, jet-exhaust regulations, and windmill subsidies. Charlie Daniels wishes he could fiddle so good.
However one judges the president’s early response, Pelosi’s assertion that he is fiddling today is a grotesque lie. Much worse, it’s a massive insult to those working around the clock, to help Trump execute these actions.
Pelosi is saying that the Army Corps of Engineers, FEMA, Team USA’s CEOs, their tireless employees, supply-plane pilots, and millions more are merely fiddling along with President Trump in a giant symphony of sloth.
This statement comes with no strings attached: Nancy Pelosi is the worst public servant in the United States of America.
Bucknell University’s Michael Malarkey contributed research to this opinion piece.