By Mark F. Gray
AFRO Staff Writer
After remaining conspicuously silent for the better part of his term in the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Anthony Brown (D-4) has put the gloves on and come out swinging against President Trump. In an exclusive conversation with the AFRO, he said the President was late in formulating an adequate COVID-19 response and that Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is doing a better job of leadership during the pandemic.
“We have seen where the president had [COVID-19 information] and was slow to react,” Brown said. “Gov. Hogan, like so many other governors around the country understands leadership and is doing a better job helping Maryland deal with the coronavirus.”
Brown recently presided over the largest stimulus package vote in American history as Speaker Pro Tempore for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. With unemployment totals reaching critical mass, Brown was anxious to get bi-partisan approval quickly and was able to achieve it.
“It was an honor to fill in to speak for speaker Pelosi,” Brown said. “My job was to promote spirited public discourse expeditiously. I think we were able to do that.”
He also recently toured several facilities that have emerged since the crisis began.
After visiting the meal distribution program at Kenmoor Middle School and the screening facility at FedEx Field, he gave the County high marks under the leadership of Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks, despite one of the Maryland National Guardsmen testing positive for COVID-19.
“Prince George’s County is doing a really good job with the resources they have,” Brown said. “Given the depth of where we were, the County has made considerable strides.”
As vice chair of the House Armed Services Committee and a retired Colonel in the Army Reserve, where he earned a Bronze star for service in Iraq; Brown has been critical of the President’s treatment of the military. During his tour around the state, Brown was also named to replace the late Rep. Elijah Cummings on the U.S. Naval Academy Board of Visitors.
Brown has been an outspoken advocate for better housing, health care and pay for soldiers and their families. Having served in the military, Brown would prefer Trump discontinue use of the term “war” when addressing the world’s fight against an unseen enemy on the homefront.
“Normally I don’t get caught up in terms, but I would like to see the president show some restraint there,” Brown said. “You always have to be leery of using a term like war when we are talking about a health crisis we’re fighting in our households.”
“This isn’t a military operation. Wars aren’t normally fought on the mainland. This is a global pandemic like the world hasn’t faced in more than 100 years.”
Brown also said television network’s should stop live coverage of President Trump’s daily COVID-19 press briefings. He feels they aren’t being used to give the public enough information about the pandemic as much as it is to replace political rallies he feels the President is using to galvanize his base in the race to win a second term in November.
“Voters will have a chance to vote for competence versus incompetence in November,” Brown said.