During his coronavirus press conference on Wednesday, President Donald Trump issued a savage rebuke to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). While the Trump administration issued travel advisories about China — and Wuhan, specifically — Pelosi toured San Francisco’s Chinatown to set people at ease as the Chinese coronavirus was spreading across the world.
The Centers for Disease Control issued travel notices for Wuhan and began implementing public health entry screenings at U.S. airports in early January. The Trump administration announced Chinese travel restrictions on January 31. Democrats attacked the restrictions. Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.) introduced a bill to block the restrictions as late as March 5.
“They didn’t want us to close our borders to China, to Wuhan specifically. They didn’t want our borders closed,” Trump said. “I did that very early while Nancy Pelosi was trying to have in San Francisco parties in Chinatown because she thought it would be great. She wanted to show that this thing doesn’t exist.”
“We have some politicians on the other side that don’t know what they’re doing,” he added, pointing to “timelines” showing his early decisive action during the crisis.
Trump: Nancy Pelosi was having parties in Chinatown when he banned travel with China. pic.twitter.com/semVujQ0Rp
— Matt Margolis 🇺🇸 (@mattmargolis) April 15, 2020
Pelosi may not have been hosting “parties in Chinatown,” but she did make a big show about going there on February 24, in order to discourage fears about the coronavirus. “We want to say to people, ‘Come to Chinatown!’ Here we are again, careful, safe, and come join us,” she said.
This didn’t age well for Nancy Pelosi.
Pelosi today on coronavirus vs Pelosi on Feb. 24th on coronavirus. pic.twitter.com/yqadZ4e6cr
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) April 2, 2020
The first confirmed coronavirus case in the U.S. came on January 20, 2020, when Democrats were focused on prosecuting the impeachment case against President Donald Trump. Trump wasn’t acquitted by the U.S. Senate until February 5. On February 14, Democrats set their sights on Attorney General William Barr, perhaps beginning the process of impeaching him. That week, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) floated the idea of impeaching Trump again — over his tweets.
The Democrats have rushed to investigate Trump’s response to the coronavirus, in a likely partisan effort that could lead to another impeachment. Indeed, a Democratic Ohio state representative said she would file charges at the Hague accusing Trump of “crimes against humanity” for his press briefings.
The president did issue contradictory statements about the coronavirus — as did medical experts, thanks in part to China’s mendacity — but he also took firm action against the virus from the beginning, well before Pelosi was touring Chinatown.
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Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.