On Sunday, a day after former President George W. Bush shared a video calling on Americans to unite in the struggle against coronavirus, President Donald Trump criticized Bush for not speaking out during his impeachment case.
Trump, appearing to reference comments by Fox News host Pete Hegseth, asked where Bush’s message of unity was during his impeachment. The impeachment trial, which ultimately resulted in Trump being found not guilty, was ongoing through early February as the coronavirus outbreak expanded beyond China and cases emerged in the U.S.
“Oh bye the way, I appreciate the message from former President Bush, but where was he during Impeachment calling for putting partisanship aside,” Trump tweeted. “He was nowhere to be found in speaking up against the greatest Hoax in American history!”
.@PeteHegseth “Oh bye the way, I appreciate the message from former President Bush, but where was he during Impeachment calling for putting partisanship aside.” @foxandfriends He was nowhere to be found in speaking up against the greatest Hoax in American history!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 3, 2020
Trump’s comments followed a video, shared by the George W. Bush Presidential Center, in which Bush said “we cannot allow physical separation to become emotional isolation. This requires us not only to be compassionate, but creative in our outreach.”
Trump was alleged of pressuring the Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, amid claims Biden had himself intervened in a Ukrainian investigation against a gas company for which his son Hunter Biden worked.
In his video, Bush also said “let us remember how small our differences are in the face of this shared threat. In the final analysis we are not partisan combatants, we are human beings, equally vulnerable and equally wonderful in the sight of god.”
A Message from President George W. Bush@TheCalltoUnite pic.twitter.com/FIn9wuOPTF
— George W. Bush Presidential Center (@TheBushCenter) May 2, 2020
Bush did not offer any comment on Trump’s impeachment case, as lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives voted on partisan lines to impeach Trump.
Trump’s critical response also comes amid criticisms he was too slow in his initial response to the coronavirus outbreak. Trump has defended against these claims, often noting his efforts to shut down travel from China, where the outbreak began, in late January. Trump has also lamented that his political adversaries, such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, initially characterized his travel restrictions against China as “racist.”
Trump has also faced criticism on the lack of personal protective equipment and respirators to respond to the virus, as well as for a lack of testing for the coronavirus.
The President has criticized the Obama administration for leaving the national stockpile largely depleted following the 2009 H1N1 Swine Flu outbreak.
The Trump administration has worked to implement more testing for the coronavirus, however in March, as Trump declared a national emergency in response to the coronavirus outbreak, he suggested there would be around 5 million coronavirus tests ready by the end of March. Later in March, US Assistant Health Secretary Brett Giroir said 10 million tests had been delivered and another 17 million would be ready by the end of March, the New York Post reported.
Coronavirus testing appears to have lagged behind those numbers. 6.8 million coronavirus tests, as of Sunday, according to John’s Hopkins Coronavirus case map.