Categories
News Politico

New Jersey congressman says Trump’s coronavirus response should devote more ‘energy’ to public health

A White House spokesperson did not immediately return a request for comment on Kim’s criticism.

Since the early weeks of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, President Donald Trump has argued aggressively for reopening wide swaths of the country, warning repeatedly that “the cure” of lockdown orders “can’t be worse than the problem itself.”

Following the expiration of federal social distancing guidelines at the end of April, the vast majority of states have begun this month to gradually wind down mitigation measures meant to curb the spread of the coronavirus — hoping the easing of restrictions will not yield new surges in Covid-19 cases.

The administration, too, has reoriented its efforts from fighting the outbreak to jump-starting the economy. Trump announced earlier this month that the focus of the White House coronavirus task force would shift to “SAFETY & OPENING UP OUR COUNTRY AGAIN,” and he reportedly told governors Monday the federal government “will step in” if needed to assist a state in its bid to reopen.

But Kim, one of the members of a House investigative panel established last month to monitor the administration’s implementation of nearly $3 trillion in coronavirus relief measures, said Tuesday he “would be much more comfortable with these discussions about how to safely reopen if we had transparency in data.”

“So I share that same goal,” he added, “but I differ in terms of the prioritization on public health that I think needs to play a bigger role than where the administration believes.”



Source link

Categories
News Politico

‘Set an example’: Sen. Doug Jones scolds GOP colleagues for not wearing masks

President Donald Trump has contributed to the partisan divide, declining to cover his face in public despite his administration’s guidance and a recent White House directive requiring West Wing staffers to wear masks at all times in the building, except at their own desks.

But Jones argued Wednesday it is the responsibility of elected officials to model best practices and healthy behavior as the United States continues to battle an infectious outbreak that has devastated the national economy.

“I think we have to set an example. I’ve been trying to do that in my home state for the last six weeks or seven weeks. Set an example,” he said. “Try to tell people, ‘It’s OK. It’s not a cultural shock to wear a mask out in public these days, because I want to protect your health. And I want you to protect mine.’”

Despite the apparent split among senators on whether to sport face coverings, an overwhelming 71 percent of respondents in a POLITICO/Morning Consult poll published Wednesday say that when Trump and Vice President Mike Pence travel, they should wear masks in public places. Concurring with that position are 82 percent of Democrats, 70 percent of independents and 58 percent of Republicans.

Source link