Govs. Whitmer, Cuomo Call for Investigation of Trump’s ‘Politicization’ of Coronavirus Pandemic

September 28, 2020 by Reece Nations
Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan Democratic gubernatorial nominee, speaks with a reporter after a Democrat Unity Rally at the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel August 8, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. (Bill Pugliano/Getty Images/TNS) **FOR USE WITH THIS STORY ONLY**

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer jointly released a statement urging Congress to open an oversight investigation concerning “the Trump administration’s politicization of government functions,” that undermined the nation’s pandemic response.

In their statement, the governors contend President Donald Trump and his administration neglected to heed the advice of “public health experts and career public servants” by “(putting) the health and security of the American people in the hands of political appointees whose first priority was securing the re-election of their benefactor,” according to the text of the statement. 

“It is an inarguable fact that the United States has had the worst response to the COVID-19 virus of any nation in the world,” the joint statement read. “Nearly 7 million Americans have tested positive for the virus, and more than 200,000 Americans have been killed by it — both more than any other country. The unprecedented and unacceptable scale of this tragedy is the direct result of President Trump and the federal government’s deceit, political self-dealing, and incompetence.” 

Further, the governors note in the statement that in April, the White House inhibited the Department of Health and Human Services’ proposal to enlist the U.S. Postal Service to send five free “life-saving” masks to each household in the country. Further, the governors criticized DHS’ decision to publish “indefensible” guidance last week declaring asymptomatic individuals did not need to be tested for COVID-19. 

The governors say the DHS report was issued “over the strong objection of CDC scientists,” according to the statement’s text. The issue of misinformation was further exacerbated by the CDC’s removal of guidance related to the airborne transmission of the coronavirus. 

The governors also noted more questions arose from revelations brought to light by reporting from Washington Post journalist and author Robert Woodward. Woodward released audio recordings of the president from February of this year claiming he intentionally downplayed the coronavirus’ threat in order to avoid inducing public hysteria.

Trump remarks in Woodward’s recording, “I still like playing (the coronavirus) down, because I don’t want to create a panic.” 

“As a country, we cannot allow this type of politically-motivated decision making to take root,” the governors’ statement continued. “Logic dictates that COVID won’t be the last public health challenge we will face, and we can’t afford to again respond by playing politics, instead of listening to the science and facts. Congress must immediately conduct an oversight investigation into the Trump administration’s response to this pandemic, including the actions at HHS and the USPS the public learned about over the past week.”

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