Michael P. Norton
State House News Service
Responding to a Columbia University disease model suggesting tens of thousands of lives could have been saved if social distancing had been implemented a week or two earlier, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren said that data show that “government matters” and ripped the Trump administration’s leadership during the COVID-19 crisis and the weeks leading up to it.
Warren, who is under consideration as Joe Biden’s running mate, said the Trump administration had done a poor job of stockpiling personal protective equipment.
“If the Trump administration had started planning for this crisis back in January, we wouldn’t be in this mess today, and lives would have been saved and our economy would be in better shape,” Warren, who lost her brother to the coronavirus, told Jon Keller of WBZ-TV on Sunday morning. “But it takes planning, and it takes a smart, thoughtful, science-informed, aggressive response. Back in January, the Trump administration was ordering masks for themselves, but not for anybody else around the country … When people were calling and saying, ‘This crisis is coming. Can we help?’ The answer was no. And that has been the position of the Trump administration all along. It has been to deny the problem, and not have effective leadership, and I think every time we go back and analyze where we’ve come from to this point, we see that what the Trump administration has done has cost people lives, and has cost our economy – a lot of, a lot of, a lot of harm to people.”
Trump has defended his administration’s virus response and called for economic reopenings to bring back jobs. Warren declined to weigh in on whether Gov. Charlie Baker was moving too quickly to reopen the state’s economy. Reopening, she said, is going to be “totally based” on COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, and personal protective equipment availability. “And then every step we take, you just have to keep collecting the numbers,” she said. “And we’re going to, you know, going have to learn as we go along in this. But the point is to make an informed decision.”