(CNSNews.com) - Near the beginning of her press briefing today, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.), dressed in black, described the current moment as “really quite an exciting time for us,” and then, describing it as a “sad time,” cited the number of people who have died from COVID-19, the number who are infected and the number who have lost their jobs.
“This is really quite an exciting time for us because we have a monumental need for our country at this sad time,” Pelosi said--as reflected in the video of her briefing posted by C-SPAN.
“You know the figures,” she continued. “Nearly 85,000 people tragically dead. Nearly 1.4 million people infected. More than 36 million people have lost their jobs and filing for unemployment.”
Speaker Pelosi went on to cite the testimony delivered today in the Subcommittee on Health of the House Energy and Commerce Committee by Rick Bright, Ph.D. Dr. Bright had served until April 21 as director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services for Preparedness and Response.
“While I am unfortunately no longer leading BARDA, I am an expert in these areas and fully understand the grave risks we are facing,” Bright said in his written testimony.
“I continue to believe that we must act urgently to effectively combat this deadly disease,” he testified.
“Our window of opportunity is closing,” he testified. “If we fail to develop a national coordinated response, based in science, I fear the pandemic will get far worse and be prolonged, causing unprecedented illness and fatalities. While it is terrifying to acknowledge the extent of the challenge that we currently confront, the undeniable fact is there will be a resurgence of the COVID19 this fall, greatly compounding the challenges of seasonal influenza and putting an unprecedented strain on our health care system. Without clear planning and implementation of the steps that I and other experts have outlined, 2020 will be darkest winter in modern history.”
Here is a transcript from the part of Pelosi’s press conference where she said this “is really quite an exciting time for us:”
Nancy Pelosi: “This is really quite an exciting time for us because we have a monumental need for our country at this sad time,” Pelosi said.
“You know the figures,” she continued. “Nearly 85,000 people tragically dead. Nearly 1.4 million people infected. More than 36 million people have lost their jobs and filing for unemployment.
“Yesterday, chairman of the Fed, Chairman [Jerome] Powell estimated, he stated the need for Congress to act immediately and pass further economic relief. In his words, he said: Additional relief, additional fiscal support, could be costly but worth it if it helps avoid long-term economic damage and leads us with stronger, leads us with a stronger recovery. That’s our hope. This tradeoff is one for our elected representatives, who wield powers of taxation and spending. Chairman Powell of the Federal Reserve Bank.
“Also, representatives of calling for urgent action are the representatives of the Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank, the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank, the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank.
“And, this morning, as you have probably seen, Dr. Rick Bright testified, the Health Subcommittee on the Energy and Commerce Committee, warning that next winter will be the darkest winter in modern history unless we do more to fight the coronavirus. So, the challenge is a clear one and we are very proud of the HEROES Act, which addresses the urgent needs of, and the actions we want to take to meet those needs. The House will vote on the HEROES Act tomorrow.”