President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that his impeachment “probably” distracted him from properly responding to the coronavirus. 

“Well, I don’t like to think it did – I think I handled it very well,” Trump said at a news conference. “But I guess it probably did … I mean, I got impeached.” He added,  “I certainly devoted a little time to thinking about it.”

Trump echoed the sentiments of supporters who believe that the White House’s slow response to the coronavirus pandemic was because the president’s impeachment case was distracting the president.

The Senate impeachment hearings began on January 15 and ended on February 5 with Trump’s acquittal. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the impeachment trial,  “diverted the attention of the government.” 

The president said on February 27 that the coronavirus was, “going to disappear. One day – it’s like a miracle, it will disappear.” He then added, “you know, it could get worse before it gets better. It could maybe go away.  We’ll see what happens.”

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Many of his supporters, like Fox News commentator Sean Hannity, are claiming that the impeachment is to blame for the president’s inactions. Critics, like Joshua Geltzer, a former national security aide during the Obama administration, disagree. Mitch McConnell just blamed Trump’s COVID-19 failures on impeachment,” tweeted Geltzer. “That’s wrong – dead wrong. In fact, the opposite is true: impeachment warned McConnell & other Americans about exactly how Trump would screw this up.”