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House Dem 'irritated' by fellow Democrat's grandstanding on coronavirus as official says US risk remains 'low'


'We just wanted to hear the substance'

Florida Democratic Rep. Donna Shalala (right) was "irritated" by her fellow Democrat's grandstanding on coronavirus. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Connecticut Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) kicked off a private briefing with Trump administration health officials on Friday by ripping the president's handling of the coronavirus, or COVID-19, but her comments were not well-received. According to news reports, her harsh criticisms prompted several Republicans to walk out of the meeting and even turned off at least one of her Democratic colleagues.

Politico reported that former Health and Human Services Secretary and freshman Rep. Donna Shalala (D-Fla.) was "irritated" by DeLauro's remarks, which "missed the purpose of the meeting."

"No one wanted to hear that, either the Democrats or Republican. We just wanted to hear the substance," Shalala said.

Despite Democrats being annoyed with DeLauro's "grandstanding," Ben Shapiro noted that Politico omitted this from its headline of the story and focused instead on the reaction by Republicans.

DeLauro doesn't 'give a rat's ass' what her colleagues think

DeLauro, who leads health appropriations in the House, is said to have accused the Trump administration of lacking a sense of urgency and had failed to address key aspects of the government's readiness to respond to the virus.

As the House members transferred to a larger meeting room, DeLauro told reporters she did not "give a rat's ass" about the reactions from her colleagues.

"I feel that the issue on resources and current expenditures has been less than adequate and that these are some of the questions that we have to get answered," she said. "I quite frankly don't worry about people who may have a concern. I just know that the questions are right."

Risk to Americans 'remains low'

The briefing was led by CDC Director Robert Redfield and NIH infectious disease specialist Tony Fauci, which updated House members on the disease's rate of transferability.

Politico reported that Redfield emphasized "the risk to Americans remained low." However, Fauci is said to have bluntly told lawmakers that an increase in cases in the United States is inevitable.

Fauci also said the coronavirus is "unlikely to disappear" any time soon, according to a person familiar with his statements. However, he strongly denied reports that the White House was preventing him from speaking publicly about the virus.

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