Stop Blaming Impeachment for Trump’s Coronavirus Response

A reporter asked President Trump this week what he thought of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s claim that impeachment distracted Trump from tackling the coronavirus epidemic earlier. 

The president gave a rambling answer but ultimately settled on a firm no.  

“I don’t think I would have done better had I not been impeached, OK?” Trump said. “And I think that’s a great tribute to something. Maybe it’s a tribute to me. But I don’t think I would’ve acted any differently or I don’t think I would’ve acted any faster.”

Trump’s response threw cold water on what was becoming a common talking point on the right. A week earlier, Henry Olsen, a very Trump-sympathetic columnist for the Washington Post, had written a column headlined, “Let’s be honest. Impeachment hurt Trump’s response to coronavirus.” As China was locking down its cities, Olsen argued, “the White House was focused on addressing this threat to its survival, not on preparing for a threat from China that might never even materialize.”

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