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Wolf Blitzer Grills Pence on Coronavirus Response: Trump Was ‘Belittling the Enormity of This Crisis’

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer grilled Vice President Mike Pence Wednesday morning over the U.S. response to coronavirus and how President Donald Trump was “belittling” the severity of the crisis weeks ago.

“The president now says the next few weeks in his words are going be very, very painful,” Blitzer said. “But let’s not forget, on January 22nd, he said we have it totally under control. On February 25th, he said it was very well under control. February 27th, he said the virus, in his words, was going to just disappear. But now we’re being told under the best scenario, 100,000 Americans over the next few weeks and months could die. It’s an awful situation to even think about. What happened? Why was the U.S. so late in understanding the enormity of this coronavirus?”

Pence said in mid-January “the CDC was still assessing that the risk of the coronavirus to the American people was low” and defended the work of the coronavirus task force thus far.

“Every step of the way, as the president did again this weekend, we’ve been taking bold and decisive steps at the president’s direction to put the health of America first.”

Blitzer again reviewed the president’s comments from Tuesday’s briefing and asked, “The president last night said that network and New Jersey, in his words, got off to a very late start in fighting the virus, but didn’t the United States as a whole — and I’ll reiterate the question, Mr. Vice president — didn’t the United States as a whole get off to a late start?”

“The reality is that we could have been better off if China had been more forthcoming,” Pence said. He continued to praise the leadership coming from the president and governors around the country.

Blitzer remarked, “It would have been good if the president wouldn’t have been belittling the enormity of this crisis, the coronavirus pandemic, as he was. Now he’s finally on board.”

Pence took issue with the idea “the president has ever belittled the threat of the coronavirus” and said Trump “is an optimistic person.”

You can watch above, via CNN.

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac