Pelosi calls anti-coronavirus lockdown protests ‘unfortunate,’ says Trump embracing them to ‘distract from his failures’ – The Sun
NANCY Pelosi called the anti-coronavirus lockdown protests "unfortunate," saying Donald Trump is just embracing them to "distract from his failures."
Her comments come after large protests against the COVID-19 measures in at least nine states, including Michigan, Maryland, Texas, Virginia and Minnesota this week.
On Sunday, House Speaker Pelosi told Fox News said she didn't understand why people were protesting the health measures when the main way to stop the spread of the virus is to "shelter in place."
"That is really the answer," Pelosi said. "Testing. Tracing. Treatment. Shelter in place.
"But, you know, people will do what they do."
"The fact is, we're all impatient. We all want out. But what they're doing is really unfortunate."
Pelosi's appearance followed thousands of people rallying in Michigan wearing Trump apparel to protest Governor Gretchen Whitmer's extension of a stay-at-home order.
InfoWars, the website founded by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, also organized a big rally at the Texas state capitol on Saturday where hundreds congregated despite health advice from medics, disease experts, and White House officials not to gather in large groups.
Crowds like this where people stand in close proximity could spread the deadly bug, which has infected over 2.3 million people and killed more than 39,000 Americans as of April 19.
In another interview, Pelosi told ABC This Week she wouldn't "exaggerate the protests."
"There are some in some places, largely where there’s a Democratic governor," she said.
"But I think of it largely as a distraction and the president’s embrace of it as a distraction from the fact that he has not appropriately done testing, treatment, contact tracing, and quarantine."
After revealing phased guidelines for state governors to reopen, Trump incited more rallies by tweeting his desire to "LIBERATE" states under lockdowns.
He called protesters "responsible people” – hours after encouraging demonstrations in Michigan, Minnesota, and Virginia.
But health experts say that the US should ramp up widespread testing and contact-tracing program to get the nation back on track.
Vice President Mike Pence said that every state had enough testing to start the first phase of "Opening America Up Again."
But state governors in Virginia, Maryland and Michigan have disputed this.
Democratic Virginia Governor Ralph Northam called the claims "delusional" on CNN's State of the Nation, after being blasted by the president earlier this week.
PROTESTS IN ST. PAUL: A crowd of protesters could be seen lining the street in front of Gov. Tim Walz's residence, holding signs and American flags. The group calling themselves “Liberate Minnesota" say the state’s stay-at-home order has gone on long enough and Minnesotans should be allowed to go back to work. | https://cbsloc.al/2xEjEfJ
"It's not a straightforward test," Northam said. "We don't even have enough swabs, believe it or not. And we're ramping that up, but for the national level to say we have what we need, and really to have no guidelines to the state levels is just irresponsible because we're not there yet."
Republican Maryland Governor Larry Hogan agreed testing is the number one problem and "has been since the beginning of the crisis."
"The administration I think is trying to ramp up testing," Hogan said. "They are doing some things with respect to private labs but to try and push this off to say that the governors have plenty of testing and they should just get to work on testing, somehow we aren't doing our job, is just absolutely false."
Pence and Trump insisted it would be up to the individual governors when to reopen as protesters flooded the streets in several states, some holding signs like "If ballots don't free us bullets will!"
Trump initially proclaimed his "total authority" to decide this but the Tenth Amendment gives states exclusive authority, which is not extended to the Feds by the Constitution.
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