House Speaker Pelosi: $2 trillion coronavirus package ‘just a down payment’ on fight against outbreak

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday that despite the $2 trillion economic package signed into law by President Donald Trump on Friday, the federal government has "to do more" to combat the spread of the coronavirus that has killed more than 2,000 Americans and called for another piece of legislation to address the remaining needs.

"I think the bill was just a down payment," Pelosi told CNN's "State of the Union" host Jake Tapper. "We have to pass another bill that goes toward meeting the need more substantially than we have."

She said new action was required to increase funding for states and hospitals, as well as to address the reported shortages of personal protective equipment for medical professionals. She also called for an expansion of family medical leave, a guarantee that those who get tested have their doctor visit covered and protections for workers' pensions, among other issues.

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"The list goes on about what we have to do," she said, citing the "self-evident" need for additional resources in the states.

Pelosi also tore into Trump for his handling of the outbreak, saying his initial response cost lives.

"His denial at the beginning was deadly. His delaying of getting equipment to where it's needed is deadly," she said.

And she pushed back against Trump's suggestion of beginning to ease the social-distancing meant to slow the spread of the COVID-19 disease in areas where the outbreak was less severe. She said the aim should be to "prevent more loss of life, rather open things up."

"I don't know what the purpose of that is," she said of Trump's idea of easing restrictions. "I don't know what the scientists are saying to him."

She called for an inquiry into Trump's response to the virus after the crisis has passed.

"What did he know and when did he know it? That's for an after-action review," she said. "Let's review later what we should have done when. Let's now just stop doing the same thing, which is to deny and delay."

"But as the president fiddles, people are dying. And we just have to take every precaution."

Source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2020/03/29/coronavirus-response-updates-pelosi-fauci/2935369001/

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