WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Some Democratic senators are taking aim at President Donald Trump for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. The president told Americans this week not to be afraid of the virus, but his surgeon general is encouraging everyone to not let their guard down.
Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) fired back at the president, saying he’s made the pandemic political.
“Don’t listen to Donald Trump,” Alabama Democratic Sen. Doug Jones said. “Don’t listen to any politician. If you don’t want to listen to me, don’t listen to me, listen to the health care professionals.”
Jones’ comments come days after the president left the hospital, where he spent several days being treated for coronavirus. When he announced his release from the hospital, he posted a message to Twitter for Americans: “Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life.”
“Tell those people, the 200,000 Americans and their families who lost their lives, to not let it dominate them. I think it dominated their life,” Sen. Jones said.
But a Republican senator who also tested positive for coronavirus recently – Thom Tillis of North Carolina – agrees with the president’s take.
“We gotta do it smart, but we gotta resist the rhetoric of fear that would shut down this economy and, I think, harm even more people that are being harmed by COVID,” Sen. Tillis said.
U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams says the country isn’t done with the pandemic, but can take steps to move toward safely overcoming it.
“It isn’t about closing, it’s about figuring out how we can stay open,” he said. “Washing your hands, wearing a mask, watching your distance, getting a flu shot.”
The surgeon general would not comment on the president’s message from earlier this week but did have his own warning for Americans.
“This virus is still out there, it is still contagious and it still can kill you,” he said.