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Trump accuses Democrats of politicizing the coronavirus, calling criticism of his handling of the outbreak their ‘new hoax’

President Donald Trump said mounting fears of the coronavirus are the “new hoax” of the Democrats, accusing them of politicizing the disease.

Trump held a rally on Friday in Charleston, South Carolina, for his presidential campaign, where he lambasted Democrats for their criticism regarding his handling of the outbreak.

“Now the Democrats are politicizing the coronavirus,” Trump said, adding, “They can’t even count their votes in Iowa,” referring to the disastrous Iowa caucuses earlier this month.

“They tried to get you on Russia, Russia, Russia; they couldn’t do it,” he continued. “They tried the impeachment hoax that was on a perfect conversation … This is their new hoax.”

Trump’s comments came after two more cases of coronavirus emerged in the US on Friday. In addition, 42 infected passengers who were aboard the Diamond Princess during the quarantine as well as three evacuees from Wuhan, China — the epicenter of the outbreak — were repatriated, bringing the total number of cases in the US to 64 cases.

“[The coronavirus] starts in China, bleeds its way into various countries around the world,” the president said, saying it didn’t “spread widely at all in the United States because of the early actions” of him and his administration.

Trump also relayed that there were only 15 confirmed cases of the coronavirus during the rally (there are 64), and he only briefly mentioned the Diamond Princess passengers and Wuhan evacuees during a press conference on Wednesday.

—Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 29, 2020

Trump made a request to Congress asking for $1.8 billion to fund coronavirus relief efforts, on top of using $535 million from the ebola relief budget. Democrats and some Republicans condemned the request, calling it an “inadequate amount” to handle the coronavirus spread.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer proposed a budget of $8.5 billion for the coronavirus budget. Trump mentioned Schumer’s proposal, saying he undercut the request since he didn’t think Congress would grant him that large of a budget.

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Trump barred a top health expert from speaking freely about the coronavirus. It’s one of many ways the administration has muzzled scientists.

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