House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday compared President Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic to Emperor Nero fiddling while Rome burned, explicitly saying Trump’s lack of urgency early on cost lives. “The president, his denial at the beginning, was deadly,” she told State of the Union host Jake Tapper. “His continued delay in getting equipment to where it’s needed is deadly.”
“What did he know and when did he know it? That’s for an after-action review. But as the president fiddles, people are dying. We just have to take every precaution,” Pelosi added, prompting Tapper to ask if she believes Trump downplaying the crisis led to American deaths. “Yes, I am. I’m saying that,” the speaker replied. At the end of the interview, Pelosi reiterated her message. “Don't fiddle while people die, Mr. President,” she declared.