Schumer claims Trump 'prolonging economic crisis' by refusing to let Fauci, others testify

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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., told MSNBC on Thursday that President Trump and congressional Republicans were slowing economic recovery by both refusing to support additional relief packages and prohibiting health officials like Dr. Anthony Fauci from testifying before House committees.

"He doesn't let his people come tell the truth," Schumer told "MSNBC Live" anchor Stephanie Ruhle. "That prolongs the crisis. Until we get a handle on how we're going to deal with the health issue, on how we're going to really deal with these deep economic issues ... we're not going to accomplish what we want to accomplish, which is getting America back to work again."

Schumer was reacting to the news that 33.5 million Americans had filed unemployment claims over the past seven weeks.

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Earlier this week, the Associated Press reported on a White House memo to congressional committees that said no member of the administration’s coronavirus task force can agree to testify on Capitol Hill unless the invitation is expressly approved by the president’s chief of staff.

The memo also seeks to limit the number of coronavirus-related appearances on Capitol Hill by officials at key departments responding to the pandemic.

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"The truth matters," Schumer said, "and you cannot hide from the truth. Donald Trump is actually hurting himself when he ignores the truth because he's prolonging the economic crisis and that hurts him as well as hurting America and tens of millions ... of working people."

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Schumer also compared Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., to former President Herbert Hoover, who oversaw the onset of the Great Depression.

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"The people like McConnell and McCarthy, and even Trump, who say 'Let’s wait and do nothing,' well, they remind me of the old Herbert Hoovers," he said, "We had the Great Depression. Hoover said, 'Let’s wait it out.' It got worse and worse.

"We need Franklin Rooseveltian-type action," Schumer said. "And we hope to take that in the House and in the Senate in a very big and bold way.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.