Coronavirus

They Knew

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

If you needed another reason to get out and vote against Republicans at every level of government, how about this?

In late February, Trump publicly downplayed the threat of the coronavirus and even said it may just "go away" or "disappear," but high ranking Republicans evidently knew things could get really bad; as bad as they are now just a few weeks later.

On the same day that Trump said the virus may disappear "like a miracle," Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) told a group of wealthy supporters that they should prepare for the economic consequences of the virus.

Thirteen days before the State Department began to warn against travel to Europe, and fifteen days before the Trump administration banned European travelers, Burr warned those in the room to reconsider.

"Every company should be cognizant of the fact that you may have to alter your travel. You may have to look at your employees and judge whether the trip they're making to Europe is essential or whether it can be done on video conference. Why risk it?" Burr said.

Sixteen days before North Carolina closed its schools due to the threat of Coronavirus, Burr warned it could happen.

"There will be, I'm sure, times that communities, probably some in North Carolina, have a transmission rate where they say, let's close schools for two weeks, everybody stay home," he said.

According to records reviewed by NPR, those present in the room when Burr made these remarks donated more than $100,000 to his last campaign.

I'm going to assume other Republicans in Congress delivered similar warnings to their donors, but none of them were caught on tape like Burr was as far as we know.

Warning your supporters is good and fine, but Republicans only delivered these warnings in private; not in public. Trump was able to downplay the threat of the virus for over a month while congressional Republicans refused to speak out publicly because it would contradict the words of Dear Leader Trump.

Democrats would never do this or even be in the position to do this because a Democratic president would never try to cover up a pandemic in the first place.

  • Christopher Foxx

    Democrats would never do this or even be in the position to do this because a Democratic president would never try to cover up a pandemic in the first place.

    But both parties are the same!

  • muselet

    “You people are important. You give me money. You deserve more-or-less accurate information. The peasants, not so much.”

    It’s worth noting, too, that Richard Burr did in fact downplay the consequences of Covid-19: you important folks may have to change your European travel plans, we may at some point in the indefinite future have to close schools temporarily. He was still singing from Donald Trump’s hymnal—Burr, like every elected R, is terrified of Dear Leader’s wrath—but he added a few subtle notes of his own for the benefit of the select few.

    Appalling.

    –alopecia

    • Scopedog

      Appalling, but not surprising.

      • Christopher Foxx

        At this point (hell, starting at a point 20+ years ago) the surprising thing would be if they did anything else.