US Democratic presidential candidates attacked Republican President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak on Thursday, as US authorities face growing criticism for not doing enough to prevent a widespread outbreak of the virus.
Trump has been under fire about the US government’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak amid signs that efforts to contain the virus’ spread haven’t been enough.
“We need a president who does not play politics with our health and national security,” said Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, the national Democratic frontrunner who advocates free government-funded health coverage for all Americans.
The Trump administration “must stop releasing misleading, unscientific, and false information” about coronavirus, Sanders said in a statement.
His comments came after Trump held a news conference on Wednesday saying the risk from the virus was “very low” in the United States and put Vice President Mike Pence in charge of the response.
Sanders said that Pence was “completely unqualified” and called Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House economist Larry Kudlow “political cronies,” saying the three should be replaced in their roles in the response efforts by experts.
Another leading Democratic presidential candidate, Michael Bloomberg, said at a rally in Houston, Texas, that Trump was “burying his head in the sand” over coronavirus.
“His failure to prepare is crippling our ability to respond,” Bloomberg said.