(USA Features) White House trade adviser Peter Navarro pushed back against a CNN host who claimed he was “wasting time” explaining that the Trump administration inherited a medical supply chain shortage from President Obama.
Navarro’s back-and-forth with CNN anchor Brianna Keilar began after he tried to explain that previous administrations failed to live up to pledges to shore up the medical supply chain after prior outbreaks including Swine flu in 2009 during Obama’s first year in office.
Keilar accused the Trump administration of being “ill-prepared” to handle the coronavirus pandemic, specifically in regard to the number of ventilators available, the Washington Examiner reported.
“Let me bring you up on the history here of what we inherited. In ‘09 when the … Obama administration had the H1N1 flu crisis,” Navarro said before Keilar interjected.
“Peter, why are you wasting your time on this and not solving the problem that you have? Peter, why are you even talking about this?” she said.
“You made the claim that this administration was ill-prepared,” Navarro answered.
Both spoke over each other until Navarro could not complete a thought without interruption.
“Don’t tell me that we were ill-prepared for this because we inherited a system of testing, and we inherited a system of stockpiles that was woefully inadequate for this and there was plenty of people — two of the last two administrations who had wake up calls, and they went back to sleep,” he said.
“That’s not what we’re doing. We’re going to fight this virus.”
“You’re wasting everyone’s time with this. It’s 2020,” Keilar said. “The president was elected in 2016. Can you get to a million ventilators?”
Though the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise in the U.S., it’s not at all clear that 1 million ventilators are going to be needed to care for COVID-19 patients.