President Trump has responded in a public letter to criticism from Sen. Chuck Schumer of his handling of the Wuhan coronavirus. The text is here.
Trump begins by thanking Schumer for his “Democrat public relations letter and incorrect soundbites which are wrong in every way.” He then corrects Schumer’s claim that the president hasn’t adequately utilized the Defense Production Act.
The president reminds Schumer that the Act “has been consistently used by my team and me for the purchase of billions of dollars’ worth of equipment, medical supplies, ventilators, and other related items.” He also explains the obvious — that the threat of invoking the Act spurs companies to produce needed items without being ordered to.
Next, Trump responds to Schumer’s call for the president to establish a “czar” with a military background to oversee the production of medical equipment. He tells Schumer that he has a senior military officer, Rear Admiral Polowczyk, in charge of purchasing and distributing equipment and “working 24 hours a day.” Trump adds that the White House so informed Schumer, but “for public relations purposes, you chose to ignore it.”
Schumer “should have had New York much better prepared than you did,” Trump chides. He adds that “New York was very late in its fight against the virus.”
Trump is just getting started. “If you spent less time on your ridiculous impeachment hoax. . .and instead focused on helping the people of New York, then New York would not have been so completely unprepared for the ‘invisible enemy.'”
There’s no merit in this claim. Impeachment had nothing to do with the New York’s level of preparedness for the Wuhan coronavirus.
Trump taunts Schumer, saying it’s “no wonder AOC and others are thinking about running against you in the primary.” Trump opines that “if they did, they would probably win.”
They probably wouldn’t.
Trump then contrasts Schumer to Gov. Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio, with whom the president has been working. Unlike these officials, Schumer has “been missing in action, except when it comes to the press.”
Noting that Schumer doesn’t like Cuomo, Trump admonishes the Minority Leader nonetheless to “start working alongside [the governor] for the good of all New Yorkers.”
Trump concludes the letter with a parting shot:
I’ve known you for many years, but I never knew how bad a senator you are for the state of New York, until I became president.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call. Or, in the alternative, call Rear Admiral Polowczyk.
Trump has Schumer’s number. I don’t doubt that most of Trump’s barbs have a strong basis in reality. Schumer is, first and foremost, a world class grandstander.
Even so, it would be nice if the president could refrain from this sort of childish letter, especially at a time like this. But at a time like this, when the president and his team are working around the clock to cope with a crisis not of their making and especially to help New York, it must be difficult — and not just for Trump — to refrain from lashing out against the odious Chuck Schumer.