House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reportedly said Thursday she’s “trying to save the world from coronavirus” after a Republican lawmaker accused her of being too busy to comment on the rioters tearing down statues in her district.
She made the comments after House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Wednesday his California colleague should condemn protesters who knocked down the Golden Gate Park statue of St. Junipero Serra in her home district.
“Given that today is the Feast Day of Saint Junipero Serra, her condemnation of mob violence would be especially timely,” McCarthy, R-Calif., said in a statement.
Pelosi was dismissive of the criticism on Thursday.
“I’m trying to save the world from coronavirus,” Pelosi, D-Calif., snapped back at McCarthy’s statement, according to the Washington Examiner. “I have no interest in about McCarthy, who hasn’t had the faintest idea of our dynamic in our district.”
In his statement, McCarthy said: “Today should be a day for celebration. Instead, we’ve recently seen a violent leftwing mob tear down the statue of St. Serra in Speaker Pelosi’s district in San Francisco, California.”
Serra was a Franciscan priest in the 1700s whose statue was brought down on June 19 by protesters who viewed him as a colonizer of Native Americans.
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Pelosi’s comments come as coronavirus cases have surged across the country, but deaths attributable to the virus have not yet had nearly the same spike. On July 1, the country had 782 COVID-19 deaths.
Meanwhile, Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., have urged Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to move forward with negotiations on a new coronavirus relief bill.
Schumer and Pelosi wrote a letter to McConnell this week that called the GOP “missing in action,” noting that the House had passed its own coronavirus relief bill 45 days ago.
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“Now is the time for action, not continued delays and political posturing,” they wrote. “We are outraged that instead of holding bipartisan, bicameral negotiations during the June work period, you chose to prioritize the confirmation of rightwing judges and several Republican-led committees devoted precious time to chasing President Trump’s wild conspiracy theories.”
House Democrats’ $3 trillion relief package, the HEROES Act, passed in mid-May. The sprawling legislation included state and local government aid, extended federal unemployment benefits through January 2021, a second round of stimulus payments and more.
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McConnell has dismissed the bill as a “liberal wish list” and said the Senate will take up new relief legislation after the two-week Independence Day break. Senate Republicans have argued a large portion of the March $2 trillion CARES Act and another relief package would need to be more targeted.