GOP senator: Trump 'absolutely' did everything right as pandemic killed 215,000

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Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) has said decisions on how to handle the deadly coronavirus should be up to the individual.

Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) defended Donald Trump's botched response to the COVID-19 pandemic on Monday, saying he "absolutely" believes Trump handled everything right. Asked about Trump's and his own previous comments downplaying the coronavirus, Perdue dismissed it as "idle chatter" and being a "Monday morning quarterback."

Perdue made the comments at a debate against his Democratic challenger, Jon Ossoff, and Libertarian candidate Shane Hazel. Ossoff noted that about 220,000 Americans have already died from the virus and that both Trump and Perdue had made dangerous comments minimizing its risk.

"Do you believe President Trump has done everything in his power to protect the people of Georgia during this pandemic?" Ossoff repeatedly asked Perdue.

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"I absolutely do, Jon," Perdue eventually answered. "And I'll tell you this — had the Democrats been involved, we'd have anarchy, like we have in Portland and Chicago and California. You guys are trying to divide the country right now, in a moment of crisis."

Reminded by Ossoff that he had told business leaders in May the death toll was not as bad as some "ordinary flu seasons" and that Trump had suggested injecting bleach as a possible cure, Perdue falsely claimed these were misquotations. "It's so easy to be a Monday morning quarterback," he scolded, later dismissing Ossoff's criticisms as "again, idle chatter here."

Perdue has also strongly defended Georgia's deadly rush to reopen during the pandemic, saying, "Well, each of us in a representative democracy have the freedom to make that determination about the risk level for me as an individual."

"We get in an automobile, we drive on our public roads, and a certain number of us will die on our public roads every year," he said. "In a situation like this, as long as we have good information, we can make our own decisions."

Georgia has been a hot spot of virus spread. To date, the state has tallied more than 332,000 cases and nearly 7,500 confirmed deaths. Even Trump said in April that he felt the state was reopening too quickly, in violation of his administration's safety guidelines.

According to RealClear Politics' polling average, the Georgia Senate race is close, with Ossoff trailing by 2.8 points. If no candidate gets a majority of votes in November, the top two candidates would face off in a runoff on Jan. 5.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.