(USA Features) Democratic governors are becoming increasingly critical of President Trump and his administration as it responds to the coronavirus pandemic with more federal resources.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan complained on Fox News Sunday that the alleged lack of a national coronavirus strategy meant more people would die.
“I’m grateful for the help that we’ve gotten,” she said, noting that her state has received 300 ventilators.
“But I will say this not having a national strategy where there is one policy for the country as opposed to a patchwork based on who the governor is something that I think is creating a more porous situation where COVID-19 will go longer, and more people will get sick. Sadly more lives may get lost,” Whitmer continued.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee echoed the same complaint, calling it “ludicrous” that President Trump did not have a national response strategy.
“We’ve had good communications with the vice president, with the CDC. Those have been good. But this is ludicrous that we do not have a national effort in this,” he told NBC’s Chuck Todd.
“To say we’re a backup, I mean, the surgeon general alluded to Pearl Harbor. Can you imagine if Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, ‘I’ll be right behind you, Connecticut? Good luck building those battleships’? Look, we need a national mobilization of the manufacturing base of the United States, as we started on December 8, 1941,” Inslee continued.
“We need to nationally mobilize, using the Defense Production Act so that we can get these companies, instead of making cup holders, to start making visors,” he said. “Show some leadership. Mobilize the industrial base of the United States. That’s what we need.”
For his part, the president said during a coronavirus press conference Saturday that while the federal government is prepared for emergencies, states have a responsibility to do the same.
“We have a federal stockpile, and they have state stockpiles. Frankly, they were, many of the states were totally unprepared for this. So we had to go into the federal stockpile. We’re not an ordering clerk. They have to have for themselves,” he said.
During an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker pushed back, saying Trump “does not understand the word ‘federal.'”
“Federal Emergency Management Agency, we have a state emergency management agency, but if he were right, why would we need a Federal Emergency Management Agency? It’s because individual states can’t possibly do what the federal government can do,” he said.
“We don’t have a Defense Production Act. There’s no way we could stockpile in anticipation of a pandemic that no one anticipated. Yet, the federal government is responsible for doing precisely that,” said Pritzker.