Warren Demands Vice President Pence Take Stronger Nationwide Action to Address New COVID-19 Surges, Contain Virus, and Protect Economy After Dr. Fauci Told Warren U.S. Could See 100,000 COVID-19 Cases a Day
"The new COVID-19 surges and Dr. Fauci's catastrophic warnings demand immediate and concerted action from the Administration"; "You and President Trump have failed to prepare the country for a safe reopening, and the record-breaking surge of COVID-19 in numerous states shows the extent to which your failures will cost even more American lives."
Washington, DC -- United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) today sent a letter to Vice President Mike Pence, Chair of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, condemning the Trump Administration's failures to lead a national strategy to contain the COVID-19 outbreak and for allowing states to reopen too soon and without proper guidance. Her letter also strongly condemns the Vice President's June 16th op-ed in which he wrote that concerns over a second wave of coronavirus infections were "overblown" and proclaimed that "we are winning the fight against the invisible enemy" -- statements she writes are "willfully ignorant" and emblematic of the Trump Administration's disastrous approach to the crisis.
"I write in light of Dr. Anthony Fauci's shocking answer to me during the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Hearing yesterday, in which he predicted that the United States could soon see 100,000 new coronavirus cases per day if we are unable to turn around the new surge in cases," Senator Warren began her letter to the Vice President. "These comments stand in stark contrast to the willfully ignorant attitude you have taken in recent weeks toward the nation's coronavirus response."
"The reality is that the White House ignored the threat of COVID-19 until it was too late to stop it, left states without the equipment to adequately fight it, did not do enough to work with states to contain it, and is now shirking its responsibility to continue to address it," wrote Senator Warren. "You and President Trump have failed to prepare the country for a safe reopening, and the record-breaking surge of COVID-19 in numerous states shows the extent to which your failures will cost even more American lives."
Senator Warren's letter lays out each of the major Trump administration failures to respond to the crisis and urges stronger national action and guidance:
- The Trump administration has failed to ramp up testing, and "all the while, the Administration continues to falsely claim that coronavirus case numbers are rising because we have tested more people, an assertion that is plainly at odds with reality."
- The Trump administration still has not developed a national inventory for testing supplies and continues to refuse to invoke the Defense Production Act to get states, hospitals, and businesses the proper personal protective equipment and other necessary medical gear they need.
- "President Trump, you and other Administration officials have actively resisted basic public health advice about masks," she wrote. The Trump administration has refused to enforce clear national guidelines about basic public health measures to contain the virus, like wearing masks, as well as social distancing, and reopening safely.
- Despite clear guidance from public health officials, the Trump administration has yet to develop a national contact tracing strategy. Because of this inaction, U.S. states still lag significantly in hiring the number of contact tracers necessary to help contain the virus.
After Dr. Fauci's dire warnings at yesterday's HELP hearing and today again in her letter, Senator Warren once again stressed the need for a national strategy that makes testing available widely, expanded contact tracing everywhere, and leaders - starting with President Trump - who have enough backbone to face reality, distribute resources, set standards, and stick to them. "If we don't, the result is going to be more economic wreckage and more death," Senator Warren warned yesterday following her exchange with Dr. Fauci.
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