Our nation is facing a terrible pandemic with an unprecedented, draconian response that has practically shut down one of the greatest American economies in modern history. The emotional, physical and psychological repercussions of the COVID-19 Wuhan virus coupled with economic devastation will cause great pain and hardship for every American.
This is a time for all of us to come together, help each other and unite over the common values and American spirit that bonds us all as one, determined nation.
So, naturally, Democrats are doing everything they can to rip us apart. And when one imagines a divisive, insipid, partisan hack who would seize on a national crisis to rip our nation apart with vitriol and discordant bile one immediately conjures the smarmy visage of Rep. Adam Schiff of California.
Sure enough, like a festering boil that just won't go away, Schiff bubbled to the surface Wednesday and announced he plans to lead a congressional investigation into the Trump Administration's response to the Chinese virus.
After Pearl Harbor and 9/11, we looked at what went wrong to learn from our mistakes.— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) April 1, 2020
Once we've recovered, we need a nonpartisan commission to review our response and how we can better prepare for the next pandemic.
I’m working on a bill to do that.https://t.co/uqO3BwVldN
His call for a "non-partisan" congressional inquiry into "what went wrong" was announced in a Washington Post op-ed titled "The U.S. Needs to Know What Went Wrong" by Schiff shill David Ignatius. Despite the vanilla headline that every American would agree with (yes, we need to know what went wrong, if anything did go wrong), the column proceeds to launch into an unsubstantiated, vitriolic attack on Amb. Richard Grenell, the interim Director of National Intelligence and is loaded with innuendo, suggesting that the president ignored warnings from the intelligence community about the severity of the coronavirus as it spread across China months ago.
Innuendo and unsubstantiated attacks on Trump Administration figures written by David Ignatius in the Washington Post? Gee, where have we seen this movie before? This is literally the same script used in the "Russian Collusion" conspiracy theory peddled by Schiff for the first three years of the Trump presidency.
And here we go again.
But let's take Schiff at his word... I know, I know, it's like taking a three-card Monty con man in Times Square at his word, but just go with me for a second. It's true that the American people need to know what went wrong in our nation's response to the brewing pandemic in China back in December and January. We deserve to know if anyone was asleep at the switch and distracted with trivial, partisan matters while our country faced this growing threat.
We know that the Trump administration, through the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the United States State Department, warned Americans to take precautions if traveling to China on January 7. The alert refers to a "pneumonia outbreak of unknown cause" in Wuhan, China. This was just six days after the Associated Press was the first English language news outlet to report on a deadly disease in Wuhan.
Over the course of the next several days, Trump's CDC issued several warnings and activated a COVID-19 "Incident Management System" to monitor and account for the potential spread of what was believed to be a viral outbreak.
For the rest of the month of January, Trump's State Department led by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued almost daily warnings and updates regarding the health risks associated with a COVID-19 outbreak in China culminating in a ban for individuals traveling to and from China on January 31, the boldest move to stop the spread of the growing virus. Schiff's party elders decried the travel ban as racist and xenophobic.
We are in the midst of a crisis with the coronavirus. We need to lead the way with science — not Donald Trump’s record of hysteria, xenophobia, and fear-mongering. He is the worst possible person to lead our country through a global health emergency.— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) February 1, 2020
We know Trump initiated a special Coronavirus Task Force on January 29, and we know he referred to it in the State of the Union address on February 4. That speech was publicly destroyed after it was delivered by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi along with her party's ability to claim any level of seriousness on this issue.
While the Trump Administration took all of those actions, and more, in the earliest days of the coronavirus outbreak, what was Adam Schiff doing?
It's more than just a politically rhetorical question. It actually goes to the crux of how our federal government is designed to operate.
You see, Schiff is more than a sniveling, whiny congressman from California who uses the tiny amount of power he's accumulated by kissing the appropriate rear end during his decades in Congress. He's also the Chairman of the House Select Committee on Intelligence. It's a pretty important gig when taken seriously.
Based on Schiff's behavior in the last sixteen months that he's held this position, you'd be forgiven for thinking the Intel Chair's job is to use his position to wield a daily, partisan attack against his party's political opponents. But, the Intel committee has a long reputation of setting aside party politics and conducting themselves in a sober and serious fashion to oversee the multiple, American intelligence agencies and work with the Executive Branch to forge sound national security policies.
But, while the deadly virus was growing across the Pacific and our foreign adversary used lies, obfuscation, and propaganda to deceive the World Health Organization, thus preventing all the nation's of the world from properly responding to this emerging threat, Adam Schiff, the Chairman of the Intelligence Committee, was abusing his power in a bogus and fruitless impeachment escapade against President Trump.
Schiff and his committee have a vital role in our national security infrastructure, and instead of doing his job, he bounced from cable news appearance to broadcast news appearance in his quixotic, impossible dream to remove the duly-elected president from office.
He could have been holding classified hearings with the CIA to get to the truth in Wuhan. But, he didn't.
He could have worked with the Trump Administration to investigate the growing number of deaths and how they didn't mesh with the party line out of Beijing. But, he didn't.
He could have set aside his frothing obsession with Slavic conspiracies and not suspended his committee's important work for the sake of a political circus produced exclusively for cable and broadcast news executives. But he didn't.
Schiff is right. We deserve to know what went wrong, and our country's response to the coronavirus from China deserves to be investigated. And the investigation should begin with Adam Schiff, himself.
Larry O'Connor hosts two separate radio programs on WMAL in Washington DC and on KABC in Los Angeles. He has a daily, 30-minute podcast covering U.S. Politics and featuring interviews with newsmakers and pundits on the biggest stories of the day. Subscribe here.