Trump Condemns 'Endless Partisan Investigations' During Coronavirus Task Force Briefing

President Donald Trump urged Americans to put partisan politics aside and focus on uniting to fight the coronavirus outbreak during Thursday's White House COVID-19 press conference.

"We have seen Americans unite with incredible selflessness and compassion. I want to remind everyone here in our nation's capital, especially in Congress, that this is not the time for politics," the president said, before condemning what he called the "endless partisan investigations."

They have "already done extraordinary damage to our country in recent years. You see what happens, it's witch-hunt after witch-hunt after witch-hunt," he continued, "and in the end, the people doing the witch-hunt have been losing, and they've been losing by a lot."

The president went on to reiterate that right now is the "time to get this enemy defeated," rather than "witch-hunts."

"Conducting these partisan investigations in the middle of a pandemic is a really big waste of vital resources, time, attention, and we want to fight for American lives, not waste time and build up my poll numbers," he said. "Because that's all they're doing because everyone knows it's ridiculous."

In a letter to Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer on Thursday, Trump criticized the Democrat for engaging in an alleged "impeachment hoax."

"I've known you for many years, but I never knew how bad a Senator you are for the state of New York, until I became president," he wrote.

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US President Donald Trump speaks during the daily briefing on the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, in the Brady Briefing Room at the White House on April 1, 2020, in Washington, DC. Mandel Ngan/Getty

As the virus continues to take more lives in America, Trump has faced mounting criticism over his response, with some accusing him of downplaying the pandemic in the early stages.

Trump spent the first month of the coronavirus outbreak insisting that the U.S. had the situation under control. On February 2, the president touted his administration's move to temporarily limit entry into the country from China. "We pretty much shut it down coming in from China," he said, before then asserting less than two weeks later that "in April, supposedly [the coronavirus] dies with the hotter weather."

When Democrats called out his administration's inability to test sufficient numbers of domestic citizens last month for the novel virus, Trump characterized their remarks as the "new hoax."

During Tuesday's press conference, Trump sought to erase his initial COVID-19 rhetoric. "I've always known this is a real—this is a pandemic. I felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic," he said.

However, the president has stepped up his response in recent days. He told the public on Tuesday that the next two weeks will see more deaths and illnesses. He acknowledged that the death toll could reach between 100,000 and 240,000. "Our country is in the midst of a great national trial unlike any it has ever faced before," Trump said.

The White House declined Newsweek's request for comment.