Speaker Nancy Pelosi signaled Thursday that the House is unlikely to return to session later this month, her clearest indication yet that Congress — like the rest of the country — could remain shuttered for weeks or even longer as the coronavirus crisis continues.
In a half-hour interview, Pelosi issued a stark warning to President Donald Trump, urging him not to prematurely reopen major segments of the country before the coronavirus is under control, which she said could further send the U.S. economy into a tailspin.
Nobody can really tell you that and I would never venture a guess. I certainly don’t think we should do it sooner than we should,” Pelosi said when asked whether she still planned to bring the House back on April 20, which is the current target date.
“This has taken an acceleration from when we started this. … Little did we know then that at this point, we’d be further confined.”
The California Democrat’s comments come as the coronavirus continues to spread rapidly across the United States, with roughly 430,000 Americans diagnosed and at least 15,000 deaths. Even though some hard-hit areas such as Washington state have seen cases appearing to be leveling off, health officials have warned the numbers are going to increase dramatically in the coming weeks.
Trump, meanwhile, has done little to hide his impatience as the economy teeters while millions of Americans have been ordered to stay at home to further prevent the spread of the virus. Just Thursday, Trump — who faces reelection in just seven months — again expressed his desire to see Americans get back to work quickly.
“Hopefully we’re going to be opening up …. very, very, very, very soon, I hope,” Trump said at the daily White House coronavirus briefing. “We’re going to open up strong, very successfully and I’d like to say even more successfully than before.”