While Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) tried to explain the federal government’s slow reaction to COVID-19 as the result of being distracted by impeachment hearings, President Donald Trump is found to have held rallies and played golf at the start of the pandemic, according to USA Today.
Trump himself also refuted McConnell’s defense, and said he would not have done any better if he were not impeached.
“I don’t think I would have done any better had I not been impeached, okay?” Trump said. “And I think that’s a great tribute to something, maybe it’s a tribute to me, but I don’t think I would have acted any differently, or I don’t think I would have acted any faster.”
USA Today fact-checked Trump’s activities since his impeachment, which was initiated on December 19 and ended on February 5 with an acquittal.
Impeachment did not distract the president from golfing or political campaigning, as Trump hosted rallies on January 9 (Toledo, OH), 14 (Milwaukee, WI), 28 (Wildwood, NJ), and 30 (Des Moines, IA), and February 10 (Manchester, NH), 19 (Phoenix, AZ), 20 (Colorado Springs, CO), 21 (Las Vegas, NV), and 28 (Charleston, SC).
He also played golf on January 18 and 19, February 1 and 15, and March 7 and 8, USA Today found on the Trump Golf Count website.
On January 8, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued its first alert to U.S. clinics for potential patients of COVID-19. Less than two weeks later, on January 20, the first confirmed case emerged in Washington state. On January 31, the Trump administration issued restrictions on travel from China.
There are currently 835,712 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., and 46,899 people have died from the disease.