Columbia, S.C. — The United States has nearly surpassed 120,000 coronavirus deaths, the latest benchmark provided by Sen. Lindsey Graham on what constitutes a strong federal response. Sen. Graham has continually moved the goalposts on what he considers to be a successful handling of the pandemic, from 50,000 fatalities in April to 120,000 just a month later in May. In response, Jaime Harrison, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, released the following response:
“South Carolina is hitting a new daily case record almost every single day, and we are home to one of the highest growth rates in the country,” Harrison said. “But Lindsey’s television interviews are not about protecting South Carolinians or making sure small businesses and families can get by during this time of economic upheaval. Instead, he is using his position to advance partisan investigations and push for the cutting of unemployment relief, even while this state is becoming an epicentre of the virus.
“Lindsey Graham has moved the goalposts for months on what he considers to be a successful handling of the crisis. But as we blow past another milestone, it makes you wonder: at what point will Sen. Graham wake up to this crisis in South Carolina and start fighting for his constituents?”
Sen. Graham’s moving goalposts, in a timeline:
- April 8: 50,000 – “If we can hold the death rate below 50,000…then I would say we’ve acted decisively.” (Interview on Fox News)
- April 8: 100,000 – “Trump’s strategy and policy regarding the virus is working. We’re driving down the curve every day….So I think we’re going to be well under 100,000 deaths…” (Interview with Sean Hannity)
- April 14: 100,000 – “So I think the president has made really hard calls well, and we’re gonna be well below the 100,000 minimum expected, and it’s due to his leadership…” (Interview on Fox News)
- May 14: 120,000 – “Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said he also sees fighting the pandemic as analogous to a war and has been thinking about what success would look like. He was even willing to offer a number of total deaths below which success might be measured. ‘The closer you can have it to 120 [thousand deaths], I think you can say you limited the casualties in this war,’ Graham said.” (Politico article)