Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash) excoriated President Trump for injecting politics at the expense of the public’s health into the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, contending that he “shows a dangerous disregard for truth, science and, most important, people’s lives.”
She delivered the broadside at the start of a hearing Wednesday morning of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on labor, health and human services, education and related agencies.
The subcommittee has summoned as witnesses three top HHS officials — two assistant secretaries and the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In her opening statement, Murray, the subcommittee’s ranking Democrat, said she was “deeply angered … but not surprised” by the recent disclosure in a new book by Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward that Trump had been briefed in January about the novel coronavirus’s danger, then deliberately played down its severity.
She also said the president has said at times that he does not favor more testing for the coronavirus, and has said the pandemic is under control or about to end and released a “video falsely claiming people don’t need to wear masks.”
“President Trump has not been listening to the [scientific] experts. He has been fighting them,” Murray said. “His administration has been recklessly interfering with the work of these agencies for political benefit.”