Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) on Sunday bashed former President Barack Obama’s handling of Ebola, a viral disease that two Americans died from, but praised President Trump’s response to the coronavirus as cases surge in several cities.
When pressed by CNN’s Dana Bash on Sunday morning about whether she’d criticize Trump now that almost 130,000 Americans died from the coronavirus — given how she criticized Obama during her Senate run in 2014 by accusing him of “failed leadership” on Ebola — Ernst replied that “we all have responsibility in stopping the spread” before emphasizing the importance of mask-wearing and social distancing.
“We all should do our part to make sure that we are protecting others as well. So this is a virus that’s not going to go away soon,” Ernst said. “We want to make sure that we are watching this and doing everything that we can as a federal government, including the research and development of therapeutics and vaccinations to make sure that we are doing the right thing as a nation.”
Asked whether the President is exhibiting failed leadership himself on coronavirus, Ernst denied the notion by arguing that he is “stepping forward” and pointing out that Vice President Mike Pence that is “spearheading the task force efforts on the coronavirus.”
Ernst went on to respond to pushback from Democrats when the President tried to shut down travel from “some of those hot spots.”
“It was an extremely difficult environment to operate,” Ernst said. “You know, we know different today than we did at the beginning of the spread of the virus, and we should continually learn from those efforts and make sure we are doing the right thing by moving our nation forward.”
Watch Ernst’s remarks below:
Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) criticizes Obama's "failed leadership" on Ebola but praises Trump for "stepping forward" on coronavirus pic.twitter.com/1Fm5PJk2yZ
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) July 5, 2020