Pelosi: Trump COVID-19 Diagnosis Changes Dynamic of Stimulus Negotiations

House speaker adds she is 'praying' for Trump's health
October 2, 2020 Updated: October 2, 2020

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said President Donald Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis could change the negotiations around stimulus talks.

“This kind of changes the dynamic because here [Republicans] see the reality of what we have been saying all along. This is a vicious virus,” the California Democrat said in a news interview on Friday.

It came after the House passed Democrats’ $2.2 trillion proposal on Thursday night, while Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has offered a $1.6 trillion package.

That proposal included $500 billion in aid for states and cities, $1,200 stimulus payments, and $600 weekly unemployment benefits.

Stimulus talks between Pelosi and the White House broke down in August, with both sides refusing to make concessions on certain issues. Since then, the two parties have accused one another of stalling talks for political reasons.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has said that the Democrats’ bill cost is too high, meaning that it will not see the light of day in the Senate. Earlier this week, GOP lawmakers said the bill contains too many unneeded provisions.

“This bill recycles the same socialist wish list that was offered in the Heroes Act, which House Republicans overwhelmingly rejected,” House GOP Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) wrote in a memo.

Epoch Times Photo
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport in Cleveland, Ohio, on Sept. 29, 2020. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

Pelosi said in the interview that she asked Americans to “pray for the president’s health” after Trump’s diagnosis, adding that she has not been contacted by the White House about the possibility of succession.

“But that is an ongoing, not with the White House but with the military, quite frankly, in terms of the—some officials in the government,” she said. “Let us just all pray for the president’s health—thank God the vice president has tested negatively and the second lady, as well,” Pelosi added. “So again, that continuity of government is always in place.”

First lady Melania Trump also tested positive, the president said, and several others in the White House have, too, prompting concern that the White House or even Trump himself might have spread the virus further. The Trumps’ son, Barron, who lives at the White House, tested negative.

The revelation came in a Trump social media post about 1 a.m. after he had returned from an afternoon political fundraiser without telling the crowd he had been exposed to an aide with the disease.

Both Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), have tested negative, their campaign said. Vice President Mike Pence tested negative for the virus Friday morning and “remains in good health,” his spokesman said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.