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Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) speaks through a telecom during a Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee nominations hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday, May 5, 2020. (Photo: Salwan Georges-Pool/Getty Images)

Warren Calls Out 'Economic Disaster' and 'Moral Failure' Brought on by Ineptitude and Cruelty of Trump and the GOP

"Trump wants to close his eyes and pretend that sending people back to work right now will magically solve all our problems. But every day that he refuses to lead on the public health crisis killing thousands of Americans daily is adding years to our economic recovery."

In the wake of a jobs report that provided a glimpse of the unprecedented economic devastation wrought by the Covid-19 crisis and intensified by the federal government's failure to respond, Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Friday took aim at President Donald Trump and the GOP for "funneling relief checks and contracts to the wealthy" while refusing to shield the vulnerable from the worst impacts of the pandemic.

"Coming out of the Great Depression, America invested in building a middle class. We can do it again and do it right this time by not leaving people of color behind. But first we need real leadership for this public health and economic crisis."
—Sen. Elizabeth Warren

"More than 30 million people are out of work. Economists are comparing our unemployment rate to the Great Depression. And Trump & his GOP allies still don’t have a plan to get us out of this economic disaster," Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, wrote in a series of tweets. "This is a policy failure—and this is a moral failure."

Warren—who unveiled a series of proposals in the early stages of the pandemic aimed at safeguarding frontline workers and the unemployed—derided Trump for opting to "close his eyes and pretend that sending people back to work right now will magically solve all our problems" instead of taking action to prevent the further spread of the virus and protect those who have been harmed by the economic fallout.

"Every day that he refuses to lead on the public health crisis killing thousands of Americans daily is adding years to our economic recovery," Warren tweeted. "Our economy will not fully recover from this pandemic until we can dramatically increase our Covid-19 testing capacity and stand up a nationwide contact tracing program so people can go to work without exposing more people to this deadly virus."

"And our economy will not fully recover," Warren added, "until this administration prioritizes getting real support into the hands of struggling families and resources into the hands of health workers."

Warren's Twitter thread came after Larry Kudlow, Trump's top economic adviser, told reporters Friday that formal negotiations between the White House and Congress over the next Covid-19 stimulus package have been "paused" and will not resume until later this month or early June, though he said informal talks will continue.

"We just had another big infusion. We put all this money in, which is fine. It's well worth it. Let's see what happens," said Kudlow. "As we move into the reopening phase this month, maybe spillover to June, let's have a look at it before we decide who, what, where when."

"The Trump administration has no plan to reopen safely. They're just going to let working class people and people of color die. That's the plan."
—Leah Greenberg, Indivisible

House Democrats, meanwhile, are in the process of crafting a relief bill that is expected to be completed by next week. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) vowed Thursday that Democrats would deliver a "Rooseveltian" package, a promise that progressives met with a mix of skepticism and cautious optimism.

Progressive lawmakers and outside advocacy groups are demanding that the next Covid-19 legislation include $2,000 monthly cash payments to U.S. adults and children, an expansion of Medicare to cover the unemployed and uninsured, emergency funding for the U.S. Postal Service, and other priorities.

The Trump White House has set its sights quite a bit lower, pushing for a cut to the payroll tax—which funds Social Security and Medicare—and "tax incentives" for tourism, restaurants, and sports.

Trump and Republican congressional leaders are also demanding legal immunity for corporations whose workers contract Covid-19 on the job as the president encourages states to reopen their economies even in the absence of adequate testing.

"The Trump administration has no plan to reopen safely," Leah Greenberg, co-executive director of Indivisible, tweeted Friday. "They're just going to let working class people and people of color die. That's the plan."

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