ABC Invites Pelosi to Spread Her Doomsday Fears of Trump’s Leadership

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The final question ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos directed to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) in his softball This Week interview was intended to tee her up to fear-monger about President Trump’s leadership during the coronavirus crisis, and repeat the debunked claim the President called the virus a “hoax.” In stark contrast, Fox News anchor Chris Wallace had grilled her on how she had downplayed the virus.

In a conference call with your caucus earlier this week, you reportedly said: ‘I’m afraid of what the President may do during this period.’ What is it that you’re afraid of,” Stephanopoulos sympathetically asked. ABC was so proud of this moment that they shared a tease of it during Good Morning America.

Pelosi kept up her shtick about being a religious woman and suggested that Easter had given her time to be reflective and prayerful about her warning against Trump’s leadership:

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PELOSI: I’m afraid he’s going to act on the set basis of what he’s acted before: it’s a hoax, it’s magically going to disappear. And that’s why I sent out the letter that I did after Easter. Cause Easter gave me a time for reflection and prayerfulness about, “okay we don’t want to keep harping on what he did wrong.” Because he failed. He failed in the testing and the rest and it’s a hoax and it’s going to magically disappear. That’s not based on science. This isn’t magical. This is scientific.

And so I said, “If he continues to predicate the action that we take on a false premise, then we’re in further danger.” And his earlier delay and denial caused deaths.

“And so, it’s very important that we walk the line that’s close to evidence, data, science, as we go forward and not whimsy magic, hoax, allegations and placing drain – game – placing blame instead of taking responsibility,” she struggled to say.

 

 

In stark contrast, Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace held Pelosi’s feet to the fire. “You, as you are right now, have been very critical of President Trump, especially for what you say is the time that he lost initially in January and February in responding to the virus. But I want to point out that on February 24th you went on a walking tour of Chinatown to try to promote tourism there,” he prefaced.

He then played this soundbite of the Speaker pleading for people to gather in her district: “That’s what we’re trying to do today, is say everything is fine here. Come, because precautions have been taken,” she told the press. “We think it’s very safe to be in Chinatown and hope that others will come.”

If the President underplayed the threat in the early days, Speaker Pelosi, didn’t you as well,” Wallace pressed after the clip.

Pelosi responded by conflating President Trump blaming China for the coronavirus outbreak with blaming all Asian-Americans, which he never did. “And I thought it was necessary to offset some of the things that the President and others were saying about Asian-Americans and making them a target. A target of violence across the country,” she asserted without evidence.

“No, I was saying that you should not discriminate against Chinese-Americans as some in our administration were doing by the way they were labeling the flu,” she added, playing into the hands of the Chinese Communist Party who was using that false claim as a talking point.

The transcript is below, click “expand” to read:

ABC’s This Week
April 19, 2020
9:06:12 a.m. Eastern

(…)

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: All of this, of course, is against the backdrop of these staggering job losses over the last four weeks, more than 22 million Americans. And that’s why you’re seeing these protests build up across the country saying, “Boy, we have to reopen as quickly as possible.

Do you think the President’s guidelines to the governors are appropriate and states are ready to begin that process of opening up?

SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): I wouldn’t — I wouldn’t exaggerate the protests across the country. There are some in some places. Largely, where there’s a Democratic governor. But I think of it largely as a distraction and the President’s embrace of it as a distraction from the fact that he’s not appropriately done testing, treatment, contact tracing, and quarantine.

So, just to move on from that. That’s why we want the small businesses to thrive and that’s why that was such an important part of the C.A.R.E.S. package so — that’s the lifeblood of our economy, the creation of jobs, the creation of capital and the rest. But, again, the key that opens the door to the economy is testing, testing, testing. We haven’t done it right. As Dr. Fauci said, if we proceed on the right way, then we can do that right way. But we haven’t.

(…)

9:10:34 a.m. Eastern

STEPHANOPOULOS: In a conference call with your caucus earlier this week, you reportedly said: “I’m afraid of what the President may do during this period.” What is it that you’re afraid of?

PELOSI: I’m afraid he’s going to act on the set basis of what he’s acted before: it’s a hoax, it’s magically going to disappear. And that’s why I sent out the letter that I did after Easter. Cause Easter gave me a time for reflection and prayerfulness about, “okay we don’t want to keep harping on what he did wrong.” Because he failed. He failed in the testing and the rest and it’s a hoax and it’s going to magically disappear. That’s not based on science. This isn’t magical. This is scientific.

And so I said, “If he continues to predicate the action that we take on a false premise, then we’re in further danger.” And his earlier delay and denial caused deaths. And so it’s very important that we walk the line that’s close to evidence, data, science, as we go forward and not whimsy magic, hoax, allegations and placing drain – game – placing blame instead of taking responsibility.

And again, I was prayerful about this. I didn’t – When people said this and that, I said that’s time for after-action review. We’ll go over all of that. Except he was drawing strength, in his own view, of what his falsehoods were gaining him. And we cannot — we cannot fight a pandemic — we can’t open up to our economy based on falsehoods.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Madam Speaker, thank you very much for your time today.

 

Fox News Sunday
April 19, 2020
9:23:49 a.m. Eastern

(…)

CHRIS WALLACE: You, as you are right now, have been very critical of President Trump, especially for what you say is the time that he lost initially in January and February in responding to the virus. But I want to point out that on February 24th you went on a walking tour of Chinatown to try to promote tourism there. And here’s some of what you had to say.

SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI (D-CA) [Soundbite]: That’s what we’re trying to do today, is say everything is fine here. Come, because precautions have been taken. [Transactions] We think it’s very safe to be in Chinatown and hope that others will come.

WALLACE: If the President underplayed the threat in the early days, Speaker Pelosi, didn’t you as well?

PELOSI [Live]: No. What we were trying to do was end the discrimination, the stigma that was going out against the Asian-American community and in fact, if you will look, the record will show that our Chinatown has been a model of containing and preventing the virus. So, I’m confident in our folks there. And I thought it was necessary to offset some of the things that the President and others were saying about Asian-Americans and making them a target. A target of violence across the country. In fact, some hate crimes being committed.

WALLACE: But forgive me, don’t you think — don’t you think that when you’re out walking without any masks. I understand this is February, not April, when this happened, and saying that there’s no threat, it’s perfectly safe there, weren’t you also adding to this perception that there wasn’t such a threat generally?

PELOSI: No, I was saying that you should not discriminate against Chinese-Americans as some in our administration were doing by the way they were labeling the flu. And that, no indeed. And again, I think you check the record, and as current, you will see that our Chinatown has been a model in all of this. And that’s what we’re saying, look to them for answers, don’t look to them to place blame.

(…)

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