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US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday responded to President Donald Trump’s briefing earlier in the day, in which he warned the pandemic would probably get worse before it gets better, saying he had realized his early actions and rhetoric were in error.
“He recognized the mistakes that he has made by now embracing mask wearing and the recognition this is not a hoax, it is a pandemic that has gotten worse before it will get better because of his inaction and in fact clearly it is the ‘Trump virus,'” she said, speaking with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.
“If he had said months ago ‘let’s wear a mask, let’s socially distance’ instead of having rallies…. then more people would have followed his lead,” Pelosi added. “He is the President of the United States.”
In today’s briefing that lasted around 30 minutes, Trump again said he believed the virus would disappear and insisted the American response to the pandemic was “much better” than in other places.
But he also offered more realistic projections that his advisers hope will make him appear like a sober-minded leader.
“It will probably unfortunately get worse before it gets better,” Trump said, echoing a prediction he made at the start of April of a “rough” two weeks ahead.
Pelosi suggested that Trump ought to have taken the tone he took today in March, instead of waiting until the virus surged across the country.
“If it’s important to wear a mask now, it would have been important to wear it in March instead of telling us that by April, we would all be going to church together,” she said. “I wish that were the case.”