In a letter to lawmakers on Tuesday, Pelosi, who is the highest ranking Democrat in Congress, said the Republican president “told his most loyal followers that the pandemic was a hoax and that it would magically disappear.”
“Donald Trump dismantled the infrastructure handed to him which was meant to plan for and overcome a pandemic, resulting in unnecessary deaths and economic disaster,” she wrote in the letter.
"The truth is, from this moment on, Americans must ignore lies and start to listen to scientists and other respected professionals in order to protect ourselves and our loved ones."
"Our future will be healthy and prosperous if we no longer tolerate lies and deceit," she wrote.
Pelosi’s letter came as Trump was speaking at his daily coronavirus press briefing at the White House, in which he announced a halt to US funding for the World Health Organization (WHO), claiming the agency had failed to provide adequate warning about the coronavirus.
Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has been sharply condemned by US health experts as severely inadequate.
The United States, with the world’s third-largest population, has recorded more fatalities and confirmed cases from COVID-19 than any other country.
US coronavirus deaths rose by at least 2,228 on Tuesday, a single-day record. Over 607,000 have been affected and more than 28,000 have died in the US as of Wednesday morning, according to a Reuters tally.