Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., told “Your World” Tuesday that he was reluctant to support a new coronavirus stimulus bill, noting that much of the money in the last stimulus package has not yet been distributed.
“Over 22 states haven’t even distributed the money we’ve given them,” said Manchin, who went on to criticize how Republican West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice planned to use the state’s share of the money.
“A hundred million dollars he’s putting into a highway … I don’t know of a pothole that’s had the COVID virus,” Manchin said. “I haven’t found one yet. So how they’re using it for highways and potholes and not using it for people is beyond me.”
“So I’m a little bit reluctant when we start saying, ‘Let’s put more money, just put more money to it,'” Manchin added. “Let’s make sure what we’ve done has worked and what hasn’t worked.”
Manchin also responded to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s statement over the weekend that a federal face mask mandate was “long overdue.”
“I think it’s a good practice to have a mask on,” Manchin said. “Whether you’re going to make it federal law and a federal offense … I think that might be going a little bit too hard, but it would be great if the president would lead a little bit on this and show that it is a safe, prudent thing to do. I try to do it all the time.”
Manchin also reacted to White House task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci warning lawmakers that 100,000 new cases of coronavirus per day remains possible.
“We are now having 40-plus-thousand new cases a day, I wouldn’t be surprised if we go up to 100,000 [cases] a day if this does not turn around,” Fauci told the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing. “I am very concerned.”
Manchin said Fauci’s words should be taken seriously.
“I have all the respect for … Dr. Fauci, I mean, he has been well, well respected for many, many years and different many administrations and in a nonpartisan way,” Manchin said, pointing out the number of cases in his state. “So I take his advice really to heart.”
Fox News’ Andrew O’Reilly, Paul Steinhauser, Adam Shaw and Allie Raffa contributed to this report.