By Jon Dougherty
(TNS) It’s an old joke but it’s so very fitting when it comes to Sen. Charles Schumer, New York Democrat: You can always tell he’s lying when his lips are moving.
The Senate Minority Leader — and let’s keep him that way in November, shall we? — took to the floor of the chamber on Wednesday to spew one falsehood after another about the Trump administration’s “slow response” to the coronavirus.
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â€œUnfortunately, we are only just beginning to see the necessary seriousness and mobilization of resources from the federal government,â€Â Schumer said.
â€œSadly, unfortunately, and with awful consequences, this administration took far too long to wake up to this global crisis,â€ he said.
â€œIt has wasted precious weeks in downplaying the severity of the coronavirus–weeks that could have been spent in earnest in the preparation of building our testing capacity,â€ said Schumer.
â€œAs a result, the United States continues to lag behind other countries in the number and the percentage of the population we are testing,â€ he said.
“Stories of Americans who feel sick and show symptoms but who are unable to access coronavirus tests appear every day in every single newspaper,â€ Schumer said.
â€œWarnings of the potential shortages of masks, hospital beds, and ventilators appear in the paper every day,â€ he said.
â€œIn 2 weeks, the issue of ventilators and ICU beds will be like the issue of tests today,â€ he predicted. â€œIn other words, 2 or 3 weeks ago, many of us were saying to get those tests out. A month ago, people were saying it, and now we are seeing the consequences–lockdowns because we can’t test people.
â€œWe don’t know who has the virus and who doesn’t,â€ Schumer said. â€œThe same crisis will be occurring in a few weeks. Mark our words.”
Yada. Yada. Yada. There’s just one problem with Sen. Schmuck’s rant: There is little truth to it.
Recall that in lateÂ January President Trump was already convening a task force — which CNN complained about because it lacked “diversity” (as though ‘diversity’ somehow translates into ‘talent’ and ‘knowledge’).
One of the first things the president did in response to the widening outbreak was cut off travel from China, the epicenter of COVID0-19. That move in and of itself has been widely praised as having preventedÂ far more Americans from contracting the virus at a much sooner date. Ditto for his subsequent travel ban on Europe.
Since then, Trump and his administration have been daily reacting to the situation on the ground as well as anticipating the worst by declaring a national emergency, implementing isolation guidelines, and ordering the production of necessary medical supplies ramped up.
As for Sen. Schmuck and his lame complaints, back in 2009 when he was the Senate point man for pushing through President Obama’s massive economic stimulus plan in response to the Great Recession (that didn’t work), he was just fine with stripping out hundreds of millions in funding for Swine flu pandemic preparationsÂ just to get the recovery bill passed, as reported by the CS Monitor:
The spread of the swine flu is casting new light on a compromise deal to cut $850 million in pandemic preparedness from theÂ Obama administrationâ€™s economic recovery package. …
Those involved with proposing the cut have found themselves on the defensive, particularlyÂ Sen. Susan Collins (R)Â ofÂ Maine. She negotiated cutting pandemic preparedness funding from the stimulus plan as part of a compromise deal.
But she was hardly alone in singling out pandemic preparedness as unnecessary back in February. Democrats were fighting for every vote they could muster to pass the presidentâ€™s economic recovery plan. In a bid to rally moreÂ GOPÂ votes for the plan,Â Sen. Charles SchumerÂ (D) ofÂ New YorkÂ reminded reporters before the Feb. 10 vote that that â€œall those little porky things that the House put in,â€ including money for the flu pandemic, were out.
‘Little porky things.’
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Someone should remind the New York Schmuck that the Internet always remembers.
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