San Francisco mayor slams Trump on coronavirus comment: ‘Why are we still listening to the president?’

San Francisco Mayor London Breed: “The federal government just isn’t moving fast enough."
(Jeff Chiu / Associated Press)

President Trump’s comments Tuesday suggesting the coronavirus restrictions end by Easter prompted a swift response from San Francisco Mayor London Breed, whose city has pushed aggressive social distancing rules to slow the spread of the virus.

“Why are we still listening to the president?” Breed said on KGO-TV. “I mean, the fact is, we here in our city, throughout states in the United States of America, we have demonstrated, sadly, that we have had to jump into action and make this work without federal government support.”

She suggested state and local officials ignore the president.


“Even here in San Francisco, we’ve had private companies go out and get masks and [personal protective equipment] in general to support our healthcare workers. We’ve had to basically be innovative and work with the private sector to try and get the resources we need in order to make sure that public health was protected,” Breed said.

“The federal government just isn’t moving fast enough. I know the speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, is busting her butt in Congress to try to get us the package we need that is actually going to help workers and not necessarily corporations,” Breed said.

“But you know what? We don’t have time to waste. Lives are in jeopardy. I mean, look at what happened in New York. San Francisco is at 152 cases as of today. And so we don’t have time to mess around,” Breed said.

Trump said Tuesday that he expected that within three weeks, by April 12, the federal government could ease guidelines issued to fight the outbreak.

“I’d love to have the country opened up and just raring to go by Easter,” he said during a virtual Fox News town hall, where he fielded questions from network hosts and viewers.

The country is halfway through a 15-day period, ending March 30, that Trump initially set for limitations to slow the spread of the coronavirus through social distancing, such as limiting any public gatherings to fewer than 10 people. He said the guidelines would remain in place “a little bit longer than that.”

San Francisco and six other neighboring counties were the first in the nation to order a strict shelter-in-place order on March 16, forcing most businesses to close and residents to stay at home as much as possible to slow the spread of the coronavirus.


It was the start of a movement that quickly saw other counties in California take similar action, culminating in a statewide stay-at-home order issued Gov. Gavin Newsom three days later, followed by other states taking similar actions, including New York and Illinois.