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The American Independent

GOP congressman: 'I don't think there's any doubt' Biden would do things better

Florida Republican Rep. Francis Rooney also slammed GOP governors who have refused to protect their states.

By Josh Israel - October 19, 2020
Francis Rooney

Rep. Francis Rooney (R-FL) told CNN on Monday that Joe Biden would be better at addressing the coronavirus pandemic than Donald Trump and that many in his own party know this.

“The more we go down the road resisting masks and distance and tracing and the things that the scientists are telling us, I think the more concerned I get about our management of the COVID situation,” Rooney said.

Asked which candidate would do a better job, he did not hesitate.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt that Vice President Biden has the right approach. And there’s a lot of Republicans that would agree with that as well,” he replied. “Unfortunately, there’s a few Republican governors who did not, like the North Dakota guy that was in the news this morning.”

First-term Republican North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, whose state has the highest rate of new coronavirus cases in the country, made national news for his statement on Oct. 14 about mandating safety measures to deal with the pandemic: “It’s not a job for government; this is a job for everybody.”

On Sunday, Trump mocked Joe Biden at a campaign rally for following the science in addressing the pandemic.

“If you vote for Biden, he will surrender your jobs to China. He will surrender your future to the virus. He’s going to lockdown. This guy wants to lock down. He’ll listen to the scientists. If I listen totally to the scientists, we would right now have a country that would be in a massive depression instead of — we’re like a rocket ship,” he told supporters in Carson City, Nevada. “Take a look at the numbers. And that’s despite the fact that we have like five or six of these Democrats keeping their states closed because they’re trying to hurt us on November 3rd.”

Trump has argued that Democrats both want to lock down the entire country if they win the election and also are secretly conspiring to end existing restrictions as soon as the election is over. He has also repeatedly undermined scientists, questioning the efficacy of masks and flouting safety rules — even when doing so violates local and state laws.

Biden has said: “I would be prepared to do whatever it takes to save lives, because we cannot get the country moving until we control the virus.” He has also said he would only consider a shutdown if public health experts deemed it necessary.

Rooney, who is not seeking reelection, has been critical of Trump in the past and hinted in the interview on Monday that he might soon make up his mind to back Biden.

Last year, Rooney blasted Trump’s attempt to get Ukraine to announce an investigation into Biden and his son, Hunter, comparing his behavior to Richard Nixon’s during the Watergate scandal.

He told the New York Times in June that Trump’s botched response to the pandemic had resulted in a massive death toll that “didn’t have to happen.”

More than 218,000 Americans have now died of causes related to COVID-19, including over 16,000 Floridians.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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