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Tags: impeachment | covid | vaccine

House Impeachments: Bookends to President Trump's Fight Against the Coronavirus

House Impeachments: Bookends to President Trump's Fight Against the Coronavirus
(Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Michael B. Abramson By Tuesday, 09 February 2021 02:18 PM EST Current | Bio | Archive

The United States House of Representatives's two impeachments of President Donald Trump are bookends to the former commander-in-chief's year-long fight against the Coronavirus.

During the first impeachment and subsequent senate trial, President Trump was trying to contain the disease and prevent it from spreading in the United States. 

In the second go-around, the House impeached President Trump as he was focused on distributing the newly invented COVID-19 vaccine during his final days in office. 

During both impeachments, it was clear that the House was more interested in removing the president from office than they were in addressing the Coronavirus.

In both instances, instead of impeachments, Congress could have spent the time taking action which would have helped fight the disease and protect the American people. 

During the first impeachment, the pandemic was just beginning.

Precise action at the outset of a disease outbreak is critical because containment is most effective at this point.

Just as the executive branch was pursuing strategies to safeguard against the Coronavirus, it was Congress's job to investigate the handling of the disease as well.

Congress should have held hearings regarding the effect that the disease would have on various individuals. It should have reviewed the Trump administration's "Coronavirus Task Force" and the efficacy of the so-called "China Ban."

Congress could have asked about the reasoning behind banning certain travel and why Americans living in China were allowed to return stateside, delving into the screening procedures for those returning from China.

Congress should also have held hearings on the potential spread of the virus in the U.S., measures to thwart a brewing pandemic, and what funding would be needed, and whom should receive it, to fight the disease.

Unfortunately, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform did not have a hearing on America's preparedness to fight the Coronavirus until March 11, 2020.

This was 52 days after the first case of Coronavirus was discovered in the U.S.. It was 57 days after the impeachment articles were sent to the Senate.

During the second impeachment, the U.S. was in a much different place regarding Coronavirus.

Both the Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna vaccines had received "Emergency Use Authorizations." They were already being distributed throughout the country.

The critical issue is why now, weeks later, only 69.5 percent of delivered vaccines have been administered to American citizens. 

Hearings on vaccine distribution should have been held long before authorization of the vaccines, so as to predict problems and address any issues that could arise.

Congress should have called on governors, supplychain experts, hospitals, and those companies which administer vaccines to testify on this issue.

These hearings could have been used to identify bottlenecks in the process, and provide expert solutions to alleviate the problems.

Yet, sadly, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform has yet to hold a hearing on vaccine distribution procedure.

Some may argue that the "importance" of impeachment exonerate Congress from its lack of investigation and oversight of the executive branch.

That argument fails for two reasons.

First, Congress could have pursued impeachment and held committee hearings on Coronavirus at the same time.

It would have merely required some extra-work and multitasking skills.

Indeed, President Trump was able to focus on more than defending himself during the first impeachment.

While Congress began its impeachment, the president simulataneously launched the Coronavirus Task Force and implemented the China ban.

These two actions, especially the travel restrictions, saved thousands of lives.

Second, the months surrounding both impeachments show that Congress took little to no action, even when not leading the impeachments. 

The impeachments reveal two things about Congress.

First, when Congress has a specific goal in mind, like impeaching President Trump, it actuallly is able to work hard and pursue it. 

Second, it appears that Congress never had the goal of investigating ways to contain and defeat the Coronavirus. It was never interested in helping Americans get vaccinated.

The country should remember Congress's failure when it votes in the 2022 election and beyond.

America deserves more from its legislative branch.

Likewise, the U.S. should thank President Trump for his actions during the pandemic.

He spent his last year in office dedicated to defeating the virus.

And he did this while facing two impeachments at the beginning and end of that fight.

Michael B. Abramson is a practicing attorney. He is also an adviser with the National Diversity Coalition for Trump. He is the host of the "Advancing the Agenda" podcast and author of the author of "A Playbook for Taking Back America: Lessons from the 2012 Presidential Election." Follow him on his website and Twitter, @mbabramson. Read Michael B. Abramson's Reports — More Here.

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Surely, the House has a better way to spend its time than impeachment.
impeachment, covid, vaccine
Tuesday, 09 February 2021 02:18 PM
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