Washington – Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that the impeachment against President Donald Trump distracted the federal government from the new coronavirus when the pandemic hit the United States in January, despite warnings at the time from health experts. public and congressmen.
McConnell told conservative radio commentator Hugh Hewitt that the virus “came when we were entangled in impeachment. And I think that distracted the government’s attention, because everything every day was about the trial. ”
The Trump administration has come under severe criticism for its slow response to the pandemic, especially for the shortage of coronavirus testing kits when the infection began to spread in the country. Trump initially downplayed the crisis, comparing it to the flu season and saying it could go away on its own. The government has also been criticized for not providing the necessary protective equipment for health workers dealing with the outbreak.RELATED
McConnell said Republican Senator Tom Cotton was one of the first to express alarm about the virus. Cotton, a harsh critic of the Chinese communist government, has said he does not trust China to act honestly on the virus.
“He was the first and I think Tom was very successful,” McConnell said. “Tom found out early and he was absolutely right.”
Cotton sought to hold China accountable for the coronavirus pandemic, which he referred to as the “Wuhan coronavirus.” The virus originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
“I’m not doctor. I am not a scientist. I am not an epidemiologist. But I could see from the start that the Chinese Communist government was lying about everything related to the virus and that we had to prepare for the worst, “Cotton said in the Senate March 16.
The balance of deaths in the United States from the pandemic exceeded 3,500, above the official count in China.
The Trump administration informed the Senate of the coronavirus on January 24 – during impeachment – and on February 5, the day Trump was acquitted.