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'Trump Virus': Pelosi says thousands of Americans lost their lives as POTUS set bad example by not wearing mask

Pelosi made the statement while responding to Trump's briefing at the White House earlier Tuesday where he praised the use of face masks
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, on Tuesday evening, July 21, called the novel coronavirus the "Trump virus," in an escalation of her rhetoric over President Donald Trump's handling of the Covid-19 crisis in the country. Pelosi made her remarks while appearing on CNN's 'The Situation Room'. "Well, I think with the president's comments today, he recognized the mistakes he has made by now embracing mask-wearing and the recognition this is not a hoax," she said. It is a pandemic that has gotten worse before it will get better because of his inaction. In fact, clearly, it is the Trump virus." The Democrat leader reiterated the phrase later in the interview as well.

Pelosi made the statement while responding to Trump's briefing at the White House earlier Tuesday where he praised the use of face masks and urged Americans to wash their hands and practice physical distancing to curb the spread of the deadly virus. The Republican, during his first coronavirus-focus White House briefing in almost three months, warned that the outbreak of the virus in the country will "get worse before it gets better." His remark came as multiple parts of the country are witnessing coronavirus surges in recent weeks. 

The Speaker, however, berated the president for not promoting wearing face coverings earlier. "If he had said months ago, let's wear masks, let’s not — let’s socially distance instead of having rallies and whatever they were, then more people would have followed his lead," Pelosi said. "He's the president of the United States."

U.S. President Donald Trump confers with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) while departing the U.S. Capitol following a St. Patrick's Day celebration on March 14, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Getty Images)

When CNN host Wolf Blitzer pressed Pelosi on whether she was suggesting that thousands of Americans had lost their lives because of the president's response to the virus, she responded with a "yes."

"Yes, that's what I am saying. I think it's clearly evident," she said. The Democrat's comment marked one of the strongest rebukes of Trump's handling of the pandemic yet. Trump's response to the novel coronavirus has been criticized by many citing the president played down the gravity of the situation early on amid the virus outbreak in the country in March. Trump, until recently, was also reluctant to wear a face mask and had attempted to ridicule his political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, for wearing one. 

“We’re approaching 4 million. We’re approaching 4 million people infected, people affected by this, infected by it, and a large number, like 140,000, who have passed away. If it's important to wear a mask now. It would have been important to wear it in March instead of telling us that by April we would all be going to church together. I wish that were the case, but he had no scientific basis for that,” Pelosi said during her CNN appearance.

“If they don’t return to science and governance — and that’s a way that we can overcome this. We have hope and prayers for a vaccine. God willing that will be soon. But it is still months away, and people will die. So let's hope that the president comes closer to embracing the reality of this pandemic, this Trump virus," the House Speaker added.