Chuck Schumer: ‘This Administration Took Far Too Long to Wake Up to This Global Crisis’

By Staff | March 19, 2020 | 5:37pm EDT
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( - Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D.-N.Y.) took to the Senate floor on Wednesday to blame the Trump administration for not moving fast enough in Schumer’s view to counter the coronavirus.

“Unfortunately, we are only just beginning to see the necessary seriousness and mobilization of resources from the federal government,” Schumer said.

“Sadly, unfortunately, and with awful consequences, this administration took far too long to wake up to this global crisis,” he said.

“It has wasted precious weeks in downplaying the severity of the coronavirus--weeks that could have been spent in earnest in the preparation of building our testing capacity,” said Schumer.

“As a result, the United States continues to lag behind other countries in the number and the percentage of the population we are testing,” he said.

"Stories of Americans who feel sick and show symptoms but who are unable to access coronavirus tests appear every day in every single newspaper,” Schumer said.

“Warnings of the potential shortages of masks, hospital beds, and ventilators appear in the paper every day,” he said.

“In 2 weeks, the issue of ventilators and ICU beds will be like the issue of tests today,” he predicted. “In other words, 2 or 3 weeks ago, many of us were saying to get those tests out. A month ago, people were saying it, and now we are seeing the consequences--lockdowns because we can't test people.

“We don't know who has the virus and who doesn't,” Schumer said. “The same crisis will be occurring in a few weeks. Mark our words.

“Unfortunately, it is true about ventilators and ICU beds,” he said.  “We are behind the eight ball on tests, and we are soon going to be behind the eight ball on ICU beds and ventilators as more and more people get sick.

“The administration didn't pay attention to tests, and now we are paying the price even though many of us were hollering for weeks about the emerging issues with testing,” said Schumer.

“The same problem is about to happen with ventilators. We know, in 2 weeks, the number of ventilators might become a massive problem. We must get ahead of it and get ahead of it now,” he said.

“I call on President Trump to use his existing authority to help address the widespread shortages of medical equipment, particularly ventilators, as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak,” Schumer said.




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