If there is any phrase the defines the Donald J. Trump administration, it’s these: “We’re not a shipping clerk.”
The president’s remarks amounted to a rebuke of governors’ recent pleas for greater federal intervention.
President Donald Trump on Thursday put the onus on governors to obtain the critical equipment their states need to fight the coronavirus pandemic, telling reporters that the federal government is “not a shipping clerk” for the potentially life-saving supplies.
Appearing at the daily press briefing of the White House coronavirus task force, the president defended his decision to invoke the Defense Production Act — which would allow the administration to direct U.S. industry to ramp up production of emergency medical provisions — without actually triggering the statute.
“Governors are supposed to be doing a lot of this work, and they are doing a lot of this work,” Trump said.
“The Federal government is not supposed to be out there buying vast amounts of items and then shipping. You know, we’re not a shipping clerk.”
The president’s remarks amounted to a rebuke of governors’ recent pleas for more robust federal intervention amid the rapidly spreading outbreak, which they warn will soon overwhelm local health care systems if hospital beds, face masks and other necessities are not soon furnished in significantly greater numbers.
Trump said Thursday the administration will “help out wherever we can,” but added that the acquisition of urgent supplies “is really for the local governments, governors and people in the state, depending on the way they divide it up. And they’ll do that, and they’re doing a very good job of it.”
But earlier Thursday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York, the current epicenter of the outbreak in the U.S., exhorted the administration to help meet the demand for equipment.
Cuomo has specifically sounded the alarm over the lack of ventilators in states across the nation, warning that New York would require five or six times its current supply of the respiratory machines to treat the projected number of coronavirus patients.
“Every state is shopping for ventilators. We‘re shopping for ventilators. We literally have people in China shopping for ventilators, which is one of the largest manufacturers.”
“We’re going to need protective equipment in hospitals,” Cuomo said. “We‘re going to need ventilators. And that is something that a state can‘t do but the federal government can do.”
Remember those heartless words — “We’re not a shipping clerk” — as your friends, relatives, and fellow Americans sicken and die for lack of medical equipment.
Remember them in November.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Search #monetarysovereignty Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Trump Dodges Accountability For Medical Supply Crisis By Blaming States
Nina Golgowski, HuffPostMarch 19, 2020
Pressed by a reporter Thursday on the dire shortage of medical supplies and coronavirus testing, President Donald Trump deflected responsibility for the crisis and instead put the burden on governors.
Speaking at what’s become a daily White House press briefing on the coronavirus pandemic, Trump insisted that states should take the lead in supplying the badly needed medical equipment and protective items, despite the federal government’s vastly greater resources and capabilities.
Trump puts onus on states to secure scarce medical equipment
CBS News•March 19, 2020
President Trump said much of the responsibility to secure enough ventilators, masks and tests lies with governors rather than the federal government, as he delivered a press conference alongside members of the Coronavirus Task Force Thursday.
Mr. Trump has enabled the Defense Production Act, but says he won’t implement it until he needs to, despite criticism that production of medical equipment needs to be ramped up now.