A California congressman says he’s ready for a “serious altercation” with Donald Trump Jr. after the president’s son claimed Democrats are eager for the coronavirus to trigger a massive disaster
“For them to try to take a pandemic and seemingly hope that it comes here and kills millions of people so that they can end Donald Trump’s streak of winning is a new level of sickness,” Trump Jr. told “Fox and Friends.”
A few hours later on Thursday night, Democratic Rep. John Garamendi fired back, telling MSNBC Trump Jr. “should not be near me when he says that. There would be a serious altercation.
“That is just totally outrageous. I can assure you there is not a Democrat or Republican in Congress that wants anybody to be sick,” the congressman said. Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, is a former California insurance commissioner.
Garamendi represents California’s 3rd District, which includes areas north and west of Sacramento, where a person has contracted the novel coronavirus strain from an undetermined source. Previously, the other cases of coronavirus in the U.S. represented people who had traveled in Asia, on a cruise ship or had known direct personal contact with someone carrying the virus.
Garamendi’s district also includes Travis Air Force Base in Solano County, where Americans repatriated from the epicenter of the coronavirus in China’s Wuhan province were quarantined this month.
He spoke just after administration officials briefed lawmakers on efforts to control the disease. Among those at the briefing were Mick Mulvaney, acting White House chief of staff, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of health, and Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Afterward, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, said she had “great confidence in Dr. Fauci, so if Dr. Fauci has confidence in what they are doing then that’s okay with me.”
Garamendi seemed less confident in the administration response.
In an interview with McClatchy, Garamendi was still not pleased with the Trump administration’s response.
“What happens is that the Trump administration’s government is in disarray. It is organizationally ineffective. ...You go down through the list here you got acting people at key levels. And you’ve got other vacancies throughout government,” Garamendi said.
“And the basic attitude of the Trump administration is that government is bad. And so it’s acting badly. We should not be surprised,” the congressman added.
Andy Surabian, a spokesman for Donald Trump Jr., had a response to Garamendi’s appearance on MSNBC: “The outrageous remarks from Congressman Garamendi were beyond the pale and should be universally condemned by Republicans and Democrats alike.
“By threatening Don Jr. with physical violence on national TV, Congressman Garamendi made clear to everyone watching that he is better suited to represent Antifa than the people of California’s 3rd Congressional district. He should apologize immediately,” Surabian said.