The Slatest

Trump Slams Democrats Over Coronavirus Criticism: “This Is Their New Hoax”

President Donald Trump appears at a rally on Feb. 28, 2020 in North Charleston, South Carolina.
President Donald Trump appears at a rally on Feb. 28, 2020 in North Charleston, South Carolina. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

President Donald Trump slammed Democrats for the way they are reacting to the coronavirus threat, saying that their criticism of his administration’s handling of the outbreak is “their new hoax.” At a campaign rally in South Carolina a day before a critical Democratic primary, Trump patted himself on the back for the White House response to the coronavirus. “Now the Democrats are politicizing the coronavirus,” Trump said. “They have no clue, they don’t have any clue, they can’t even count their votes in Iowa.”

The president characterized the Democratic line of attack as only the latest in a string of efforts to hurt his administration. “One of my people came up to me and said, ‘Mr. President they tried to beat you on Russia, Russia, Russia. That didn’t work out too well. They couldn’t do it. They tried the impeachment hoax,” Trump said. “And this is their new hoax.” The criticism over the coronavirus response has now become the “single talking point” of Democrats, Trump said.

The president also used coronavirus as a reason to once again tout his immigration policies, and contrasted his view to that of Democrats. “We must understand that border security is also health security,” Trump said at another point in his rambling, nearly 90-minute speech. “We are doing everything in our power to keep the infection and those carrying the infection from entering the country. We have no choice,” Trump said. “Whether it’s the virus that we’re talking about, or the many other public health threats, the Democrat policy of open borders is a direct threat to the health and wellbeing of all Americans.”

Trump also criticized the media, saying they were in “hysteria mode” over coronavirus, continuing with his administration’s trend of blaming news outlets for the growing concern over the virus and the drop in the stock market. Acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney had said earlier Friday that journalists are trying to make the public panic over coronavirus to hurt Trump. The media are focusing on coronavirus because “they think this is going to be what brings down the president,” Mulvaney said.

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