President Trump on Monday lashed out at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for criticizing his response to the coronavirus pandemic, calling her a “sick puppy.”
“It’s a sad thing,” Trump said during a call-in interview on “Fox & Friends” Monday morning after he was asked to respond to Pelosi’s criticism a day prior. “She’s a sick puppy in my opinion. She’s got a lot of problems.”
Pelosi on Sunday accused Trump of downplaying the public health crisis in a way that cost American lives, saying that “his denial at the beginning was deadly” on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“When he made the other day when he was signing the bill, he said just think 20 days ago everything was great. No, everything wasn’t great,” Pelosi said, referring to the $2 trillion bipartisan relief bill the president signed on Friday.
“We had nearly 500 cases and 17 deaths already. And in that 20 days because we weren’t prepared, we now have 2,000 deaths and 100,000 cases,” Pelosi said.
Trump on Monday accused Pelosi of ignoring his initial decision to restrict air travel from China in January, saying not doing so would have resulted in deaths “like no one has ever seen.”
Trump also accused Pelosi of wasting her time on his impeachment; the House voted to impeach Trump in December, before the coronavirus reached the United States.
“I think it’s a disgrace to her country, her family,” Trump said of Pelosi’s critical remarks. “What a horrible statement to make.”
“All she did was focus on impeachment. She didn’t focus on anything having to do with pandemics,” Trump said later. “And she lost and she looked like a fool.”
Trump downplayed the threat of the virus at the start of the outbreak in the U.S., doubting that the virus would inevitably spread domestically and predicting that cases would soon be down “close to zero” in late February.
But Trump has notably shifted his tone in recent weeks as his administration has sought to slow the spread of the virus, recommending Americans countrywide limit public outings and travel and avoid public spaces like bars and restaurants.
Trump on Sunday extended those guidelines until the end of April as public health officials predicted the U.S. could experience millions of COVID-19 cases and 100,000 or more deaths from the virus.
Trump’s criticism of Pelosi came after his administration successfully negotiated with Congress to shepherd through legislative packages addressing the impacts of the coronavirus, including the $2 trillion package signed by Trump on Friday.