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Pelosi stresses Covid-19 relief as U.S. faces ‘an emergency of the highest magnitude’

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Friday that her focus during the lame-duck session of Congress is on passing a Covid-19 relief package, especially with the pandemic worsening. 

The surging case and death toll numbers are “an emergency of the highest magnitude,” she said at a news conference, describing it as a “red alert” situation. Thursday’s record number of 160,000 new cases was “horrifying,” especially after a week straight of more than 100,000 infections a day, she said. 

“Republicans in Congress continue their tactics of delay, distort and deny, which has led to deaths,” Pelosi said. “The longer the Republicans keep up the charade, the further out of control the Covid crisis will spiral.”

Asked about Democrats losing seats in the House, Pelosi said, “We had a very deep victory two years ago. I don’t think that people are quite understanding of the 40 seats that we won, 31 were in Trump districts. We saved most of those seats, so we’re very proud of that.”

Pelosi emphasized that Joe Biden is the president-elect and was elected with what she said was a mandate. She also suggested Democrats will have the he upper hand, even in a divided Congress, because Biden will be in charge of the executive branch. 

“When your president is the president of your party, the leverage in your power is greatly increased,” she told reporters. “You must know that.” 

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