WASHINGTON—Following President Trump’s remarks after the weekly Senate Republican lunch, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) joined Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) on Tuesday in calling on the Trump administration to treat the coronavirus outbreak as a public health crisis. During his remarks, Murphy called out the president and his administration for their slow response to the public health outbreak and the lack of clear guidance coming from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Murphy also called out the Trump administration for trying to use a provision in the Affordable Care Act to cover coronavirus patients, while defending a lawsuit in court to dismantle the law entirely.

A full transcript of Murphy’s remarks as delivered is below:

“Thank you very much, Senator Schumer.

“I was proud to be in the Senate chamber last week when we stood together, Republicans and Democrats, and passed emergency funding to help begin the fight against this epidemic. We showed that we can take the politics out of this issue of life or death importance.

“And then on Friday, the president went to the Centers for Disease Control with a campaign hat on and made it clear that he sees this as a political problem for him, not a public health crisis for the people that he is sworn to protect.

“People in Connecticut are very worried. They're worried because this president has not invested in tests that allow us to know where the disease exists and where it doesn't. People in Connecticut are worried because the president seems more interested in giving tax breaks to oil companies than helping them when they get laid off from their job. People in Connecticut are worrying because there is no meaningful guidance coming from the CDC on how you close a school, or when you close a business, leaving local leaders to make the decisions by themselves.

“And people in Connecticut are worried because they are watching a president rely on the ACA to require insurance companies to cover the tests, while at the same time he's sending his lawyers to court to try to destroy the entirety of the ACA. They're worried that they are going to lose their health care coverage because of the president's campaign of sabotage against the Affordable Care Act, at the very moment where they need the health care the most.

“This president needs to stop viewing this epidemic as a political problem. He needs to stop viewing it as an opportunity to help his Wall Street friends and his oil industry friends. He needs to start viewing it as the public health crisis that it is.”