MAGA lawmaker ridiculed for claiming US was better off during Covid: ‘Do these people have amnesia?’

The House Republican Conference chair quoted Ronald Reagan when she asked whether Americans were faring better than in 2020

Kelly Rissman
Wednesday 06 March 2024 18:29 GMT
240306 New York Rep Claims Americans Were 'Better Off' During Covid

Elise Stefanik, the Donald Trump critic-turned-superfan, has been ridiculed for claiming that Americans were “better off” four years ago during the deadly Covid-19 pandemic than they are now.

Ms Stefanik, the House GOP Conference chair, announced at a House Republican leadership press conference on Wednesday that Mr Trump will be her party’s nominee “and will be the 47th president of the United States”.

She then began blasting President Joe Biden and his policies, highlighting the “catastrophic” border crisis, inflation, and the ongoing Israel-Gaza war.

Quoting former president Ronald Reagan, she asked the crowd: “Are you better off today than you were four years ago?”

“The answer for hard-working Americans across the country is a resounding ‘no’.”

Ms Stefanik was referring to the span of Mr Biden’s term, but social media users — and the Republican lawmaker’s colleagues in the House — pounced on her claim, pointing out exactly what was going on four years ago in March 2020.

Back then, Covid-19 was ravaging America and the nation was going into shutdowns, that went on to leave businesses and whole industries on the brink of ruin.

Elise Stefanik speaking at a House GOP leaders news conference (Getty Images)

Illinois Democrat Sean Casten responded to Ms Stefanik in a scorching response on X.

“The gentlelady from NY seems to have forgotten about body bags in Central Park, a collapsing economy, loss of faith in US democracy around the world and a tax-dodging, COVID-denying rapist President who was preparing his final act of sedition,” he said.

Her colleague Virginia Democratic Rep Don Beyer posted on X: “Do these people have amnesia? Four years ago we were in a pandemic that killed hundreds of thousands of Americans, people couldn’t safely leave their homes, the economy was taking the biggest hit since the Great Depression, and Trump was lying to the country about all of it.”

Another House lawmaker, Vermont Democrat Becca Balint, wrote: “Four years ago we were on the brink of a deadly pandemic that killed millions of Americans because of Trump’s failed response and this same kind of denialism. Republicans are trying to literally rewrite history.”

Others ridiculed her apparent memory loss of the virus that killed over one million Americans.

“Four years ago today President Trump was justifying not letting people off a cruise ship because he didn’t want covid cases to go up,” journalist Aaron Rupar said.

“Four years ago today Donald Trump was explaining that this new virus going around was no big deal because people on Fox News were telling him that a lot of people die from the flu,” another user wrote.

“Four years ago we were days away from the world shutting down,” yet another remarked.

Others provided visual reminders for what the country was enduring in 2020. “Wearing masks, rationing toilet paper stuck at home,” one user wrote. “We were searching every store for toilet paper,” another added.

As another brutally put it: “Under Trump I was more worried I was going to die than about money. So I’m a lot better off!”

Ms Stefanik’s claims arrive hours after Nikki Haley announced that she was suspending her 2024 bid for president, paving the way for Mr Trump to clinch the Republican nomination. There has been growing speculation that Ms Stefanik is vying to become Mr Trump’s pick for vice president.

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