SHOT: On Thursday, Senator Susan Collins told the Bangor Daily News that she believed Donald Trump “did a lot that was right in the beginning” and applauded the president’s early response to the coronavirus crisis.
“BDN: I know you said that the president’s briefings have been better, and he’s been listening to the experts more, but what about before, when he wasn’t listening to the experts, do you think that that caused lasting harm to the country’s response?
“Collins: It may have given some people a false sense of security, but the president did a lot that was right in the beginning.”
CHASER: New reporting in the Washington Post has detailed how it took the Trump administration more than two months to seriously address the coronavirus threat after intelligence agencies started sounding the alarm in January.
"The Trump administration received its first formal notification of the outbreak of the coronavirus in China on Jan. 3. Within days, U.S. spy agencies were signaling the seriousness of the threat to Trump by including a warning about the coronavirus — the first of many — in the President’s Daily Brief. And yet, it took 70 days from that initial notification for Trump to treat the coronavirus not as a distant threat or harmless flu strain well under control, but as a lethal force that had outflanked America’s defenses and was poised to kill tens of thousands of citizens. That more-than-two-month stretch now stands as critical time that was squandered."
“For Senator Collins to defend President Trump’s lack of early action and say he did ‘a lot that was right in the beginning’ while the independent reporting shows clearly that he squandered more than two months to respond to this crisis is ridiculous,” said Maine Democratic Party Chair Kathleen Marra. “The fact that Senator Collins is ignoring the president’s incompetence and failure to prepare that has hurt so many Mainers is indefensible and another reminder that she has changed in her more than two decades in Washington.”