Sara Nelson, the president of the Association of Flight Attendants union, on Friday criticized the Trump White House over its haphazard response to the coronavirus outbreak, warning it was putting “both my members and the traveling public in harm’s way.”
Nelson, whose union represents nearly 50,000 attendants from 20 airlines, contrasted the messy way in which the Trump administration is tackling the spread of the coronavirus to how the Obama White House dealt with the Ebola crisis.
Speaking on MSNBC’s “The Last Word,” Nelson recalled to host Lawrence O’Donnell how, under Obama’s “Ebola czar” Ronald Klain, she and other industry leaders were repeatedly brought together to discuss action both on the front lines and in the U.S.
But, with the Trump White House amid the coronavirus outbreak, she said, “we can’t even talk here about what we can do in a coordinated way, with good information in this country, to be able to contain this.”
As of early Saturday morning, at least 17 people in the U.S. and 3,400 people worldwide had died from the outbreak.
More than 100,000 cases have now been reported globally.
Federal health officials maintain the overall risk to the general public is still low.
“For most of the American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus at this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states on its website.
But Trump has stoked anxieties with his repeated peddling of falsehoods about the virus and by downplaying its possible threat, prompting suspicion given the president’s penchant for telling lies while in office.
Critics have accused Trump of trying to manage the publicity aspect of the crisis over the crisis itself in a bid to boost his 2020 reelection chances.
“I can’t even believe where we are today and I’m extremely disheartened that the president of the United States is putting my members at risk, my members’ jobs at risk, our entire economy at risk and not taking this seriously,” Nelson added. “We can take this on as Americans, but not with this kind of chaos from the White House.”
Check out the interview above.