Ayanna Pressley: Trump’s Handling of Coronavirus ‘Akin to War Crimes’

Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) said on Monday that President Donald Trump’s management of the coronavirus outbreak is “akin to war crimes.”

Pressely and other left-wing members of the House of Representatives and leftist organizations held a virtual press conference on Facebook to slam the Trump administration and put forth their demands for what should be in the next coronavirus relief legislation.

“So as far as I’m concerned what’s happening with this administration, it’s akin to war crimes,” Pressley said. “Criminal negligence, science denial, a sluggish response.”

“And so we find ourselves in the position of playing catch up in the midst of a pandemic,” Pressley said. “Which is the last place you want to be in the midst of any public health crisis — certainly not a pandemic — is working from behind.”

“And we just have to reject any calls for a return to normal because that normal was what was slowly killing people,” Pressley said.

The event was billed as launching the “#PutPeopleFirst campaign” to demand “progressive” priorities in future legislation.

Past relief bills, and the present negotiations over additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), have focused on the American economy, which has been largely shut down for fear of the coronavirus spreading.

The demands by left-wing members of Congress include a guaranteed income for individuals and families for an extended period of time; universal health care; debt forgiveness; and housing guarantees.

Those on the call included Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ilhan Omar (D-MI), and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA). Activists included Leah Greenberg, co-executive director of the Indivisible Project; Lorella Praeli, president of Community Change Action; Greisa Martinez Rosas, DACA recipient and deputy executive of United We Dream; and Reggie Hubbard, a Washington, DC-based strategist with MoveOn.org.

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