By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
U.S. Sen. John Barrasso dismissed any notions that President Donald Trump’s administration doesn’t listen to scientists, saying White House officials are “definitely” focusing on science in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The senator appeared on PBS News Hour this week to discuss various topics, from the Trump administration to the Republican National Convention.
Host Judy Woodruff referenced Trump’s recent touting of using blood plasma as a potential coronavirus treatment, noting scientists urged him and other White House officials to not say that, as there isn’t sufficient evidence to prove the theory yet.
When she asked the physician/senator if Trump was listening to science, Barrasso laughed.
“Science is being focused on, which is why so much effort is being done in coming up with a vaccine,” he said.
He added that the coronavirus vaccine would be the fastest vaccine development in history.
Woodruff also questioned Barrasso’s opinion on what the president’s responsibilities were and should be when it comes to a pandemic.
Barrasso said President Donald Trump was acting boldly earlier this year when he shut down travel between the United States and China, where the coronavirus originated.
He also pointed out that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio criticized Trump’s actions for shutting down travel, even though the virus was proven to be originated in China.
Barrasso added the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention failed with coronavirus testing in the early days of the pandemic, but then said the CDC’s performance had improved over the months, with more than 72 million coronavirus tests completed as of late August.
He then criticized New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, noting the most coronavirus-related deaths in the United States have occurred in New York.
“We know that the governor of New York let people go, with the disease, from the hospital back to nursing homes,” he said. “We can always do better. As a doctor, I will tell you, we’re still learning a lot about this disease.”
However, Barrasso said he was hearing from fellow Republicans and Wyomingites that they want a path forward from the coronavirus that allows them to go back to work and get the disease in the “rearview mirror.”
Barrasso again criticized Pelosi before ending his appearance, saying she wanted to pass a bill over the weekend relating to the United States Postal Service but “unrelated to jobs, the needs of the American people, trying to get kids back to school or the vaccine.”