Trump told the governors of the United States of America that they are on their own in terms of getting vital equipment to hospitals to handle the coronavirus.
The New York Times got a copy of the recording of Trump’s call:
“Respirators, ventilators, all of the equipment — try getting it yourselves,” Mr. Trump told the governors during the conference call, a recording of which was shared with The New York Times.
“We will be backing you, but try getting it yourselves. Point of sales, much better, much more direct if you can get it yourself.”
The suggestion surprised some of the governors, who have been scrambling to contain the outbreak and are increasingly looking to the federal government for help with equipment, personnel and financial aid.
Experts noted that cities and states don’t have the capacity to manufacture respirators and count on the federal government to lead the effort:
We do not have the ability to manufacture respirators in New York City.
We need to federal gov't to activate the Defense Production Act and get manufacturers on this nationally.
This is the job of the federal gov't in a national crisis. Period. https://t.co/g6duFAPDPR
— Mark D. Levine (@MarkLevineNYC) March 16, 2020
Joe Biden said during Sunday’s presidential debate that he would use the military to build hospitals and provide resources to states and localities. Trump is telling the states that they are on their own.
Gov. Cuomo (D-NY) was correct. There has been no federal leadership in this crisis. States aren’t going to have the equipment that they need to save lives because Donald Trump refuses to do his job.
For more discussion about this story join our Rachel Maddow and MSNBC group.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association