Pelosi says Trump shunning masks a 'brazen invitation' to Covid-19, GOP lawmaker accuses her of victim-blaming
'It's very sad. But it also is something that, again, going into crowds, unmasked, and all the rest, was sort of a brazen invitation for something like this to happen,' Pelosi said
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was slammed by multiple GOP lawmakers and accused of 'victim-blaming' after she insinuated in an interview following President Donald Trump's coronavirus diagnosis that it was the POTUS' fault he felt sick in the first place.
During an appearance on MSNBC on Friday, October 2, shortly after the president and the first lady confirmed that they had contracted the virus, Pelosi said that had repeatedly been seen at public events without a mask, adding that he could have taken additional precautions to avoid contracting the virus.
"We all received that news with great sadness. I always pray for the president and his family that they're safe," she said during an appearance on MSNBC on Friday. "This is tragic. It's very sad. But it also is something that, again, going into crowds, unmasked, and all the rest, was sort of a brazen invitation for something like this to happen."
Following her comments, Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) wrote a letter to Pelosi saying her remarks were "insensitive" in that she sounded like she was suggesting that Trump deserved to contact coronavirus. "The insinuation that anyone would deserve to contract COVID-19 is offensive and shameful, and it's especially insensitive to every single American whose family member or friend has perished because of this illness. That’s why we are writing to request you apologize to all those who have been directly affected by this devastating virus," he wrote.
He further argued that by suggesting Trump was partially at fault for contracting the virus, she also insulted those essential workers who work in positions where they are potentially exposed to COVID-19.“Madame Speaker, according to the LA Times, your minimum net worth is $16 million, and you’ve just taken out a $5 million mortgage in the last year. You and your husband Paul own at least nine properties, all of which are valued at $18 million,” he continued. "Accordingly, you may not understand the difficult position millions of Americans are in, having to choose between potentially exposing themselves and their families to the invisible threat of COVID-19 and bringing home income to pay the bills and put good food on the table. Since March, each day that a frontline worker has left their home to go to work, and they have had to carry the burden of risk of coming home to their loved ones with COVID-19."
“On behalf of those millions of Americans who have contracted this virus, I formally request an apology for insinuating that those suffering from this illness are somehow at fault for their pain. I also request that you not resort to victim-blaming during this difficult time in American history,” he added.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy also responded to Pelosi’s remarks, saying that she should focus her energies on negotiating an additional COVID-19 relief package that can pass both chambers. “This is uncalled for, especially in this time and place,” he said during an appearance on Fox News on Sunday. “Other nations are watching America. This is the one time we could unite together. ... [Trump] is sitting here trying to work with this Speaker to get a COVID relief package together, and these are the comments that she makes? It’s really unbecoming of that position.”