WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump ripped Sen. Charles Schumer in a notably nasty letter on Thursday, blaming his support of impeachment in part for New York’s lack of readiness regarding the spread of the coronavirus.
“If you spent less time on your ridiculous impeachment hoax, which went haplessly on forever and ended up going nowhere (except increasing my poll numbers), and instead focused on helping the people of New York, then New York would not have been so completely unprepared for the ‘invisible enemy,” Trump wrote in a reply to a letter Schumer had sent him earlier in the day.
A former New York resident, Trump also told the state’s senior senator: “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.”
Schumer had sent a more tempered letter to Trump, saying it was the federal government that was not ready for the coronavirus pandemic.
“As the Coronavirus spreads rapidly into every corner of our nation and its terrible, grim toll grows more severe with each passing day, the tardiness and inadequacy of this Administration’s response to the crisis becomes more painfully evident,” Schumer told Trump.
Trump’s letter was the latest volley in a new war of words with the Senate’s top Democrat. Schumer, D-N.Y., has been an outspoken critic of what he called the Trump administration’s “confused and uncoordinated” response to the coronavirus pandemic.
During an appearance Thursday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Schumer said Trump needs new leadership for the counter-coronavirus effort. He also urged Trump to make use of a federal law designed to compel private industries to make more equipment.
“President Trump needs to harness industry to quickly produce more medical supplies and equipment under the Defense Production Act NOW,” Schumer tweeted. “He needs to appoint a czar like a military or logistics expert to lead the effort to make and get the supplies where they’re needed.”
In a tweet responding to Schumer, Trump claimed that “New York has gotten far more than any other State,” adding that, “It wouldn’t matter if you got ten times what was needed, it would never be good enough.”
In his follow-up letter, made public as Trump conducted a coronavirus news conference at the White House, the president accused Schumer of “incorrect sound bites, which are wrong in every way.”
Schumer’s letter repeated the same criticisms of the administration’s response that he has made before.
“This is a matter of the utmost urgency for the health of every American,” Schumer concluded. “Regrettably, our national response is far behind where it should be. But by acting now, there is still time to help protect our medical professionals, reduce suffering and save lives.”
Trump sent a similarly nasty letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in December during the height of the impeachment crisis.
In his harangue to Pelosi, Trump wrote: “Your Speakership and your party are held hostage by your most deranged and radical representatives of the far left. Look at yourself and others. Do not take our country down with your party.”