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Politics Trump rails against Dems 'wasting time' amid coronavirus threat

16:15  28 february  2020
16:15  28 february  2020 Source:   foxnews.com

Coronavirus Live Updates: Cases Rise in Italy and Iran, and Spread to Other Countries

  Coronavirus Live Updates: Cases Rise in Italy and Iran, and Spread to Other Countries New cases of the coronavirus popping up across Europe. Dozens of infections in Iran stoking fears about an uncontrolled spread in the Middle East. Global market jitters continuing after a steep slide. American health authorities warning that it was a matter of when, not if, the epidemic would reach the United States. A toxic political climate in Washington complicating the public health challenge. That worrying drumbeat frayed nerves across the world on Wednesday even as the pace of the outbreak seemed to be slowing in China.

As his administration is working to organize its response to the coronavirus threat in the United States, President Trump slammed Democrats overnight for allegedly "wasting time" going after him.

Donald Trump, Robert R. Redfield, Mike Pence posing for a photo: President Trump announced at a press conference on Wednesday that Vice President Mike Pence will lead the United States' coronavirus response. © Provided by FOX News President Trump announced at a press conference on Wednesday that Vice President Mike Pence will lead the United States' coronavirus response.

A series of late-night tweets marked the latest exchange between the White House and congressional Democrats over the outbreak, with each side simultaneously urging the other not to politicize the potential crisis yet also taking shots at press conferences and on social media — complicating efforts to work together.

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CLICK HERE FOR COMPLETE CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE

"So, the Coronavirus, which started in China and spread to various countries throughout the world, but very slowly in the U.S. because President Trump closed our border, and ended flights, VERY EARLY, is now being blamed, by the Do Nothing Democrats, to be the fault of 'Trump'," the president tweeted just after midnight.

US INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES MONITORING WORLDWIDE SPREAD OF CORONAVIRUS, CONCERNS IN INDIA, IRAN: REPORT

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., released a joint statement Thursday on what they want to see in a funding bill to help fight the coronavirus that also included what appeared to be a swipe at Trump.

Efforts to strike coronavirus funding agreement undermined by partisanship

  Efforts to strike coronavirus funding agreement undermined by partisanship As urgent as the coronavirus crisis might seem, Congress might not take up emergency funding for two weeks.“This is not a time for naming calling or playing politics,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told reporters at her weekly news conference in the Capitol on Thursday. “The first step the Congress must take is to ensure the government has the resources needed to combat this deadly virus and keep Americans safe.

"The United States government must do more to address the spread of the deadly coronavirus in a smart, strategic, and serious way and we stand ready to work in a bipartisan fashion in Congress and with the administration to achieve this necessary goal," the statement read. "Lives are at stake — this is not the time for name-calling or playing politics."

In a Wednesday night press conference, Trump called Pelosi "incompetent" and called the minority leader "cryin' Chuck Schumer."

The Democratic leaders' statement then went on to list a few provisions they demanded be in any funding bill, including safeguards to prevent the president from spending coronavirus money on anything else.

CORONAVIRUS GETS POLITICAL: TRUMP, DEMS EXCHANGE BARBS AS US PREPARES FOR POTENTIAL CRISIS

Trump followed up his post-midnight tweet with another one about 40 minutes later.

"The Do Nothing Democrats were busy wasting time on the Immigration Hoax, & anything else they could do to make the Republican Party look bad, while I was busy calling early BORDER & FLIGHT closings, putting us way ahead in our battle with Coronavirus," Trump said. "Dems called it VERY wrong!"

Coronavirus in Iran prompts US to extend olive branch amid claim country's death toll far higher than reported

  Coronavirus in Iran prompts US to extend olive branch amid claim country's death toll far higher than reported More than 200 people in Iran – a figure six times higher than officials are stating – have reportedly been killed by the coronavirus, prompting the U.S State Department on Friday to extend an olive branch to assist the embattled country.China has been battling an outbreak of a new SARS-like coronavirus (COVID-19), which originated in Wuhan. The virus has claimed over 2,700 lives and infected nearly 80,000 people around the world.

Thursday marked Vice President Mike Pence's first day leading the country's coronavirus response after Trump announced he would take on the role in a Wednesday evening press conference. Pence sought to ease Americans' fears by citing the low number of U.S. cases of the virus that originated in China — calling the current risk it poses to Americans "low" — as he defended Trump's response to the crisis in an interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity Thursday.

"We continue to prepare for whatever may come, but the reality is that because of the actions that President Trump took ... literally, you know, ending travel, closing our borders to people coming in from China, establishing a quarantine process, setting up a task force," Pence said. "I mean if the president hadn’t taken those unprecedented steps we’d be in a very different place today."

Coronavirus politics has also infected the presidential campaign trail, with several 2020 candidates panning the president over his actions not just on coronavirus but his previous moves to cut funding to public health programs. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., criticized Trump specifically over proposed cuts to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

FEMA prepping for possible coronavirus emergency declaration

  FEMA prepping for possible coronavirus emergency declaration "To me this is another indication that the president and the White House are finally aware of the gravity of the situation," said former FEMA official Michael Coen.A handout composite picture made available by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of maps showing the concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) over China between January 1, left, and February 25, right, issued on March 1.

"I would not have proposed cutting the Center for Disease Control, which the president did and I would not have proposed cutting out the agency, the group, the coordinating office that coordinates with the rest of the world," Klobuchar said in a Fox News town hall Thursday night. "But we are where we are right now."

Meanwhile, Trump praised the CDC, Pence and others for their response to coronavirus in a tweet posted just before 10 p.m. Thursday.

Slideshow by photo services

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"Congratulations and thank you to our great Vice President & all of the many professionals doing such a fine job at CDC & all other agencies on the Coronavirus situation," the president said. "Only a very small number in U.S., & China numbers look to be going down. All countries working well together!"

Coronavirus death rate is 3.4%, World Health Organization says, Trump says 'hunch' tells him that's wrong

  Coronavirus death rate is 3.4%, World Health Organization says, Trump says 'hunch' tells him that's wrong The World Health Organization says the fatality rate for coronavirus is 3.4%. Citing a hunch, President Trump called it a "false" number.WASHINGTON – The World Health Organization reported this week that the death rate for the coronavirus increased to 3.4% and is more lethal than the flu, which kills tens of thousands of Americans each year.

But minutes before, Trump was rehashing previous complaints about the media's coverage of his administration and its handling of the new pathogen, which causes a disease officially called COVID-19.

"'Anti-Trump Network @CNN doing whatever it can to stoke a national Coronavirus panic. The far left Network pretty much ignoring anyone who they interview who doesn’t blame President Trump,'" Trump said, citing Fox Business host Trish Regan. "Media refuses to discuss the great job our professionals are doing!"

Trump had previously blamed MSNBC and CNN for trying to make the coronavirus "look as bad as possible," saying they were aiming to panic markets over the disease threat.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered its largest one-day tumble in nine years, falling 4.42 percent on Thursday, and has lost a total of 3,225.77 points this week alone. A prolonged stock market panic could put a dent in Trump's main reelection argument — that the economy is thriving. Dow futures for Friday were down upwards of 400 points overnight.

American authorities are currently trying to figure out how one person in Northern California caught the coronavirus. This is the first case in the U.S. of unknown origin, meaning that the virus could now be spreading in American communities.

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In a potentially encouraging sign of a bipartisan response to coronavirus, however, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, managed to secure testing kits for her state from the CDC after asking permission to buy them from Japan. The congresswoman and presidential candidate delivered a video message Thursday asking Trump to give Hawaii the go-ahead to buy the kits from Japan.

"Today I'm calling on President Trump to instruct the bureaucrats at the CDC and the FDA to immediately allow the state of Hawaii to get testing kits and related items from Japan since the CDC is failing to provide them," Gabbard said. "As an island state, with responsible leadership we can keep this virus out. But we won't be able to do that without our state and federal leaders taking it much more seriously than they are right now."

A statement from Gabbard's presidential campaign later Thursday night confirmed that the federal government had made it possible for Hawaii to get ahold of testing kits without buying them from Japan.

Fox News' Victor Garcia, Louis Casiano, Alexandra Rego and Gregg Re and Fox Business' Ken Martin contributed to this report.

Coronavirus death rate is 3.4%, World Health Organization says, Trump says 'hunch' tells him that's wrong .
The World Health Organization says the fatality rate for coronavirus is 3.4%. Citing a hunch, President Trump called it a "false" number.WASHINGTON – The World Health Organization reported this week that the death rate for the coronavirus increased to 3.4% and is more lethal than the flu, which kills tens of thousands of Americans each year.

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