Perdue on Surging Coronavirus Outbreak: “We’ve Done Everything We Could”

July 28, 2020

Once again, Perdue downplays virus threat to score political points in a complete 180 from 2014 Ebola rhetoric

ATLANTA — With Georgia continuing to face a growing coronavirus outbreak that appears to be “on the brink of spiraling out of control,” Senator David Perdue apparently has little concern, telling CNN in a new report, “we’ve done everything we could” to fight the virus.

When confronted by CNN about his criticism of the Obama administration’s response to Ebola compared to his effusive praise of Trump’s response to a pandemic that has killed nearly 147,000 Americans, Perdue called the 2014 outbreak “a totally different situation” than today’s coronavirus pandemic, as the number of hospitalizations and deaths from coronavirus continue to rise in Georgia. Perdue has repeatedly downplayed the coronavirus threat even as he was caught trading stocks early on in the pandemic and investing in “a chemical company that supplies personal protective equipment.”

Perdue already left a reporter “baffled” earlier this month when he claimed that “things in Georgia are going as well as they could be expected” as the state was “headed for a crisis.” Clearly, Perdue is still content to write off the worsening outbreak across the state no matter how bad the situation gets for Georgians.

“It’s shameful that Senator David Perdue would continue to downplay the coronavirus pandemic for political reasons rather than be honest with Georgians about the threat from this growing outbreak,” said Alex Floyd, spokesman for the Democratic Party of Georgia. “Once again, Perdue puts politics first and Georgians’ health care second.”

Read the full report on Perdue’s coronavirus whitewashing:

CNN: Senate GOP candidates attacked Obama over Ebola but defend Trump on coronavirus pandemic

  • In the run-up to the 2014 midterm elections, Republican David Perdue excoriated President Barack Obama over his handling of the Ebola outbreak — contending that Obama had “failed to lead” and “took a serious threat far too lightly.”
  • Six years later, Perdue, a first-term senator, is on the ballot again in Georgia — and now is running on the same ticket as a President struggling to get control of a virus far more deadly to the country.
  • But Perdue has praised Donald Trump, even as the President has repeatedly downplayed the coronavirus, contended it would disappear, called on states to be “liberated” as they were trying to isolate from the virus, was late to embrace mask wearing and has falsely claimed that more testing is the lone reason for more cases.
  • “It’s a totally different situation,” Perdue told CNN last week when asked about his criticism of Obama in 2014.
  • Asked if he was concerned about Trump’s handling of the crisis, Perdue said: “No, I think, given the uncertainty that we had at the very beginning, we’ve done everything we could. Right now he sees declaring Covid-19 as the enemy. We’re not fighting among ourselves. We’re all together: Democrats (and) Republicans should be fighting this virus.”
  • Perdue’s comments are a reflection of how GOP senators in difficult reelection races recognize that their fate is tied in large part to the President’s standing heading into November. 
  • And with polls showing voters more concerned about the coronavirus than any other issue, Republicans need Trump to bolster his performance on the pandemic — and have calculated that they must show solidarity with a President who deeply values loyalty in order to win over the GOP base.
  • Just four people were diagnosed with the virus in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and two of them died. By contrast, the coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 147,000 people in the United States, with more than 4.2 million cases in the country.
  • In 2020, few Republicans have been willing to raise any concerns about shortcomings in the federal response — or Trump’s own rhetoric, which has often downplayed the severity of the virus, including recently as cases surged across the Sun Belt and other parts of the country.

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