Jared Moskowitz, Jamie Raskin blast Lauren Boebert over COVID-19 ‘amnesia’

Jared Moskowitz
‘When we bring up COVID, we seem to have amnesia of when COVID started, who it started under.’

It’s been less than three years since COVID-19 upended the world, but Republican U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert is already struggling to remember who oversaw America’s first-year handling of the pandemic.

U.S. Reps. Jared Moskowitz and Jamie Raskin are helping to set the record straight, and clips of them taking the “Ultra MAGA” Congresswoman to school are going viral online.

This week, Boebert launched into a tirade during a House Oversight Committee meeting, accusing the federal government of “silencing” Americans and “colluding to cover up what China released into the globe.”

“We want American citizens to, yes, have a government put out truthful information,” she said. “Also, the people are the check on the government to say, ‘Hey, is that right? Is that accurate? Something seems off here. I have a question. Here’s some information that I found out, because hey federal government, maybe you don’t know everything.’”

Moskowitz, who oversaw the Sunshine State’s pandemic response in 2020 as director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, responded to Boebert’s rant with a short history lesson.

“COVID did not start under the (Joe) Biden administration,” he said.

“It started under the (Donald) Trump administration. And it was Donald Trump who closed businesses. It was Donald Trump who closed schools. It was Donald Trump who mandated masks. It was Donald Trump who came up with the vaccine, which I don’t have a problem with, but if you have a problem with it, it was Donald Trump’s vaccine. When we bring up COVID, we seem to have amnesia of when COVID started, who it started under. Right? You guys don’t like Dr. (Anthony) Fauci, but it was Donald Trump who listened to Dr. Fauci.

“And so, at the end of the day, you guys want to complain about things that happened under the last two years. You’re allowed to have valid complaints. But what I’d love to hear from the majority is the criticism of the Trump administration and Donald Trump and the decisions that were made during that administration, which you guys use as talking points to hit (Biden), but he was not in charge when those decisions were made.”

Boebert conceded Trump occupied the Oval Office at the onset of the pandemic. But he also “regularly” said the virus “was released from a lab in China — assertion reporters dismissed, she said.

Raskin said he appreciated Boebert’s “passion” for the subject before offering “two facts” to refresh her memory on the actual events.

“One is that Donald Trump on more than 20 different occasions defended the performance of the Chinese government and specifically President Xi (Jinping) in terms of his treatment of COVID-19,” Raskin said. “So if there’s a problem with the Chinese government unleashing the virus — which has not been proven anywhere, but it certainly could be true — you would have to pin that on your favorite President, Donald Trump, not on Joe Biden.

“The second thing is, President Trump’s own special adviser on COVID-19, Deborah Birx — I’m sure you’re aware, and I’m sure you read her book — said that the lethal recklessness of Donald Trump’s policies about COVID-19 cost Americans hundreds of thousands of lives.”

The two exchanges came Tuesday during a discussion of free speech and a pair of related bills.

One of the measures, introduced by Republican U.S. Rep. James Comer, would prohibit federal agencies from censoring lawful speech and bar federal employees from using their official capacities to engage in political speech.

The other, by Republican U.S. Rep. Scott Perry, calls for a governmentwide report detailing every instance in the past five years that the federal government “communicated with an interactive computer service for the purpose of removing, suppressing, restricting, or adding disclaimers to lawful speech.”

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.


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