September 25, 2022

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Trump blames impeachment for slow response to coronavirus

a White House press briefing on Tuesday, Mr Trump admitted that the impeachment process could have impaired his response to the virus.

He told reporters: “I think I handled it [impeachment] very well, but I guess it probably did. I mean, I got impeached. I think, you know, I certainly devoted a little time to thinking about it, right.”

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The comments came after Mitch McConnell told radio host Hugh Hewitt that the Trump administration could only concentrate on impeachment as the coronavirus spread in China in January.

The Senate Majority Leader said the crisis “came up while we were tied down in the impeachment trial. And I think it diverted the attention of the government, because everything, every day was all about impeachment.”

On February 5, President Trump was acquitted of impeachment charges brought by the House of Representatives in the Senate for abuse of power and the obstruction of justice.

Three weeks later, on February 27, Mr Trump announced that coronavirus was “going to disappear. One day – it’s like a miracle, it will disappear.” It followed a claim days earlier that a vaccine was “very close”.

Democrats have widely criticised the president for contradicting his own statements on the virus, and for the slow response to rolling-out testing and PPE.

As early as February 11, the president had proposed cuts to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), now central to the White House response to the pandemic.

Whilst the first US death from the coronavirus was reported at the end of February in Washington State, coincided with Mr Trump telling supporters at a campaign rally that Democrat criticism of his handling of the virus was a “hoax”.

He added on Tuesday that the impeachment process was also a “total hoax”. He said: “When you think that I got impeached only because they had a majority in the House. They didn’t get one Republican vote.”

Referring to a memo released on Friday about problems in the FBI’s Russia investigation, Mr Trump commented that Democrats “probably illegally impeached me in the sense that if you look at the FBI today with what happened, the horrible thing, nobody cares about that now because all they’re thinking about is the virus and that’s ok with me.”

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