McConnell: Impeachment ‘Diverted Attention’ From Coronavirus

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Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., listen as President Donald Trump speaks before he signs the coronavirus stimulus relief package in the Oval Office at the White House, Friday, March 27, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial distracted the federal government from paying attention to the novel coronavirus as it reached the United States in January.

McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on Tuesday that the deadly virus “came up while we were tied down on the impeachment trial. And I think it diverted the attention of the government, because everything every day was all about impeachment.”

The Trump administration has been severely criticized for its slow response to the spreading pandemic, especially for the shortage of coronavirus testing kits when the infection first spread to the U.S. from China. Trump initially downplayed the crisis, comparing it to the seasonal flu and declaring it may go away on its own. The administration also has been criticized for not supplying needed protective medical gear for health care workers tackling the crisis.

McConnell said Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas was among the first in Congress to raise an alarm about the virus. Cotton, an outspoken critic of China’s communist government, has said he does not trust China to act truthfully about the virus.

“He was first, and I think Tom was right on the mark,” McConnell said. ”Tom figured this out early, and he was absolutely right.

Cotton said earlier this month he was looking into holding China “accountable” for the coronavirus pandemic, which he referred to as the “Wuhan coronavirus.” The virus originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus has climbed past 3,500, eclipsing China’s official count.

The Trump administration briefed the Senate on Jan. 24 — during the impeachment trial — but the threat posed by the virus was not widely understood.

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27 COMMENTS

  1. Rewriting history… In February the GOP was calling it a hoax and downplaying it and were saying the Democrats were playing it up. Just sick, twisted lies.

    I guess Republicans had plenty of time to sell their stocks before they changed their tune on COVID-19.

    • Answer the question, were the reublcians trying to discuss this in decmeber , january during impeachement?

      yes or no will suffice. Be “honest”

      • The burden is on those asserting the allegation. I for one find no evidence on the Internet supporting McConnell’s claim. Furthermore, a statement of distrust towards the Chinese is neither a chiddush nor an attempt to open a national dialogue in the Coronavirus. Just another Trump era GOP untruth.

        • Guess what, at this rate no NOV elections. Its not safe and not enough time.

          We will need to postone elections and Trump remains president by default!

        • Now I am watching the Trump Covid 19 news confrenece. Its funny how news media people can stay so close for all thier klutz kashas. All essential of course. But an outdoor social distant minyan on pesach OY vey bloody murder. The news media they are all saints

      • 3/5/2020 Trump was crowing about how well he was managing Coronavirus in the US.

        1/27/2020 Joe Biden penned an op-ed criticizing Trump’s approach to Coronavirus.

        1/28/2020 two former members of Trump’s admin wrote an op-ed in the WSJ pleading with Trump to take this seriously.

        2/14/2020 McConnell was busy with anti-abortion bills, not coronavirus

        All-in-all when McConnell’s friends finally completed their stock sales he then finally got around to recognizing the danger of COVID-19. Look at January and early February and the majority of news about the threat of COVID-19 all comes from the “MSM”, not from places some here frequent for their daily fill of lies.

  2. DemoncRats are murderers. Criminal thugs obsessed with removing a president for nothing. Parading witnesses who offered hearsay and lies. Evil shaydim and demons .

    • Every elected Orthodox Jew in US History is a DEMOCRAT. The Republican/Nazi Party does not allow Jewish Senators. Democrats have 9 Jewish Senators ZERO Republicans Hm???

      • That’s more to do with geography than ideology. If you want to get things done in New York, LA, Chicago, you have a better chance with the Democrats because they are usually in power and even the Republicans of those cities are fairly moderate.

  3. If any member of the Senate, or any branch of government, feels that they can’t walk and chew gum at the same time, should resign immediately.
    Mr. McConnell?

  4. Total nonsense for his idiot base. Even after the deadly virus was rampant he was ‘distracted’ from how serious it is. They have to blame somebody, something on his bumbling. This is his dismal leadership? Blaming with an idiotic revisionist history of what happened? But many thanks to McConnell for reminding everyone that he was IMPEACHED.

  5. holding up the HELP bill in congress because of the DemocRATS shopping list nothing to do with the virus was their fault and not the republicans. ALL DEMOCRATS NEED TO GET OUTTA OFFICE

  6. Trump wasn’t too distracted to tweet nonsense downplaying the danger and saying everything would be all right. He wasn’t too distracted to delay implementing the Defense Production Act (although not convinced it would have mattered), not too distracted to disband of the federal government’s pandemic awareness team, not too distracted to tell the governors to find their own equipment so that now they are bidding against one another.

    Was distraction the reason he said our numbers are going down, not up.

  7. In late January and early February, as the Senate trial was underway, he posted pictures of himself at a briefing with experts about coronavirus, reassured Americans that the administration was “on top of it 24/7,” restricted travel from China, and told Americans that his administration had “pretty much shut it down coming in from China.”

    Trump continued to downplay the severity of the crisis weeks after he was acquitted by Senate Republicans on Feb. 5.

  8. The media should hound Adam Schiff and ask him why he let Americans die just in order to bring down a sitting President. Adam Schiff should be arrested and charged with accessory to murder.

  9. Talking Schiff, Obama, Dem Hoax, etc. is all about trying to revise on-the-record factual history of Trump’s dismal record. People have access to news & Google and can find the facts, not the weak attempts at revising what actually happened. If you’re hanging your streimel on phony baloney excuses you already lost.

  10. The CDC issued its first warning on Jan 8. Trump held rallies on:

    Jan 9th
    Jan 14th
    Jan 28th
    Jan 30th
    Feb 10th
    Feb 19th
    Feb 20th
    Feb 21st
    Feb 28th

    He golfed on:

    Jan 18th
    Jan 19th
    Feb 1st
    Feb 15th
    Mar 7th
    Mar 8th

    Impeachment ended Feb 5th.

  11. People, picture the scenario; In the height of Impeachment that was filled with so much hate and garbage, Trump would come out of the woodwork and relate to the American people about a looming pandemic, TELL ME ONE DEMOCRAT THAT WOULDNT SCREAM FOUL! They wld openly accuse him of Purposely diverting attention of the impeachment sham and talking about a pandemic HOAX.
    STOP PESTERING TRUMP. Nothing in the world done by Trump would ever satisfy democrats. Their hate can kill too!

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