President Donald Trump declared the United States the “king of ventilators” in statements during a coronavirus briefing at the White House earlier today, even as the death toll in the United States hits 37,000.
“We’re now the king of ventilators. We have hundreds of thousands under construction. We don’t need them ourselves, the governors are in great shape. If we do we have a great stockpile that we’ll immediately send to the state in need. But we’ve handled that situation incredibly well. I hope people understand it, I wish the media would get the word out. What we’ve done with ventilators is amazing because they’re big, expensive, and highly complex.”
Trump added that the United States government would help Mexico and “other countries” as they struggle with the pandemic, saying that more ventilators “are being constructed as we speak.”
You can watch footage of Trump’s remarks below.
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 17, 2020
Trump’s statement come mere weeks after he assailed New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D), saying he didn’t believe New York, which leads the nation in confirmed coronavirus cases, needs 30,000 ventilators to treat infected patients.
“I have a feeling that a lot of the numbers that are being said in some areas are just bigger than they’re going to be,” Trump told Sean Hannity during a Fox News interview last night. “I don’t believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators. You go into major hospitals sometimes, and they’ll have two ventilators. And now all of a sudden they’re saying, ‘Can we order 30,000 ventilators?’”
The president continues to face harsh criticism as the death toll climbs. Earlier today, critics accused him of advocating for armed insurrection after he tweeted calls for states to “liberate” themselves from stay-at-home orders as protesters defy social distancing guidelines around the country.