Republican National Committee’s Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel blasted Democrats capitalizing on public anxiety over the coronavirus outbreak to attack President Trump.
“Unfortunately, Democrats are using this as an opportunity to sow division and scare the American people,” claimed McDaniel on Fox Nation’s “Reality Check with David Webb.”
Webb pointed to Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders’ recent call to make any future coronavirus vaccine available to Americans for free, as evidence of the president’s critics politicizing a public health emergency.
“Of course, that means you’ll have to wait till January 2021 when he’s inaugurated,” said Webb.
“They’ve tried everything. It’s Russian collusion, obstruction obsession, go on and on. Ukraine, you name it. To weaponize people’s health, is this a new low for Democrats?” asked Webb.
“Absolutely,” McDaniel argued. “And to try and stoke the fears of Americans and to push frenzy into the marketplace is not good for our country. This is a time where we should be united. Get the facts to the American people, make sure that we’re putting their health and safety first, but working across party lines, the president’s willing to do that.”
McDaniel observed that Trump ordered proactive, protective measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus two months ago and he was criticized for it.
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“[Trump’s] taken courageous steps like he did when he shut the ports down in January,” said McDaniel, “which at the time Joe Biden said that was racist and xenophobic, shutting them down to China, shutting down air travel to China.”
In Jan. 31, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced that some non-U.S. citizens who had traveled to China in the prior two weeks were barred from entering the U.S.
On that same day, former Vice President Joe Biden was addressing the coronavirus outbreak during a campaign rally in Iowa and said, “This is no time for Donald Trump’s record of hysteria and xenophobia – hysterical xenophobia – and fearmongering to lead the way instead of science.”
Some commentators have argued that it is unclear if Biden was specifically referencing the Trump administration’s travel restrictions.
“Dr. Fauci has said that [the travel restrictions] absolutely limited the spread of this virus through this country,” said McDaniel, in reference to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
“I do think it’s reassuring to see someone like Dr. Fauci, who has worked with many administrations, including under President Obama, coming forward and saying this administration has taken the steps necessary and let’s communicate to the public the real concerns that they should have and the precautions they should take,” she continued.
McDaniel also argued that it was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to add nearly $6 billion to a coronavirus spending bill that Trump signed last week.
“Democrats are going to use this to their political advantage,” she said. “With President Trump’s election, they have tried at every turn to try and undermine his presidency and to do it now at this time when people are afraid because this is a new virus… I think is a new low for the Democrat Party.”
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