President Trump tore into Sen. Chuck Schumer on Thursday, calling the top Democrat a “bad” senator whose focus on impeachment left New York “completely unprepared” for the coronavirus.
“No wonder AOC and others are thinking about running against you in the primary. If they did, they would likely win,” Trump taunted in a letter.
“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 Wednesday night appearance on CNN and in a Thursday letter to Trump, Schumer urged the appointment of a senior military officer to lead the administration’s use of the Defense Production Act to force companies to make masks, ventilators and other equipment.
Trump responded in his letter: “Thank you for your Democrat public relations letter and incorrect sound bites, which are wrong in every way.”
Trump wrote that Schumer knew Navy Rear Adm. John Polowczyk already is in charge of distribution of supplies at the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“A ‘senior military officer’ is in charge of purchasing, distributing, etc. His name is Rear Admiral John Polowczyk,” Trump wrote. “He is working 24 hours a day, and is highly respected by everyone. If you remember, my team gave you this information, but for public relations purposes, you choose to ignore it.”
Trump wrote that the DPA has been used to force companies to produce product, often without dictates because it “has been powerful leverage.”
“You should have had New York much better prepared than you did, and as Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx said yesterday, New York was very late in its fight against the virus,” Trump wrote, referring to two members of the White House coronavirus task force.
“Fortunately, we have been working with your state and city governments, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill DeBlasio, to get the job done. You have been missing in action, except when it comes to the ‘press.’ While you have stated you don’t like Andrew Cuomo, you ought to start working alongside him for the good of all New Yorkers.”
Trump added: “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.”
Trump was impeached last year and a Senate trial lasted until Feb. 5, when Trump was acquitted of abusing his power by pushing Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and then obstructing Congress. COVID-19 emerged in Wuhan, China, in late December and cases surged through January and February before becoming a global pandemic.
Trump told reporters in February that he believed Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez would challenge Schumer, the Senate minority leader, in 2022 and that “she will kick his ass.”
As of Thursday, more than 235,000 US residents have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, of whom more than 5,600 have died. New York is the national epicenter with about 40 percent of cases.