Like many members of Congress who woke up to the stunning news Friday that President Trump had tested positive for coronavirus, Senator Elizabeth Warren wished her ideological opposite a speedy recovery.
But the Cambridge Democrat, a liberal firebrand and frequent Trump critic who sought her party’s 2020 presidential nomination, also laid into what she said was the president’s deeply irresponsible behavior throughout the pandemic.
“My thoughts are with the President, First Lady, White House staff, and anyone else who may have come into contact with the President, and I wish them all a quick and safe recovery,” Warren said in a statement.
Then she pivoted to the broader challenges posed by the pandemic, noting the “200,000 Americans that we’ve lost, including a disproportionate number in Black and Brown communities,” as well as the “millions of Americans who can’t get the help they need and who worry about how they’ll pay their bills” and the “millions who are up late at night worrying about their babies in daycare or their kids virtually learning at the kitchen table.”
Trump, she said, hasn’t helped matters.
“The President spent months undermining the work of our doctors and scientists, while he failed to help states and communities contain the outbreak. He mocked people for wearing masks and held super-spreader events that disregarded the health of thousands," Warren said. “Even as this pandemic rages on, he and Mitch McConnell grind forward on their plan to steal a Supreme Court seat that will rip health care away from millions of people.”
Warren was referring to the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the high court.
McConnell, the Republican senate majority leader, said Friday that lawmakers will press on with the nomination process, despite Trump’s diagnosis.
“Just finished a great phone call with @POTUS,” McConnell tweeted Friday. “He’s in good spirits and we talked business — especially how impressed Senators are with the qualifications of Judge Barrett. Full steam ahead with the fair, thorough, timely process that the nominee, the Court, & the country deserve.”
Warren, meanwhile, said the pandemic continues to take a heavy toll on the entire nation.
“This is a dangerous moment for parents, for essential workers, for educators, for everyone,” Warren said. “We need a government that is on their side and fighting for them.”
She warned that the virus is “deadly” and urged the public to listen to the recommendations of the medical community.
“Today’s news should serve as a reminder that listening to scientists, wearing a mask, washing hands, and social distancing are our best tools to fight this horrific disease,” Warren said.