President Donald Trump has slammed Democratic governors for ‘complaining’ too much about the federal response to the coronavirus crisis, and made the extraordinary claim that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s request for 30,000 ventilators is unnecessary and overblown.
Trump’s remarks, breaking a fragile bipartisan truce with the governors of some of the states hardest hit in the pandemic, came just moments after he praised the ‘incredible esprit de corps’ and ‘love of country’ evident in the nation’s response.
‘Governor Cuomo and others they say they want 30,000 of them. Thirty thousand!’ Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity in an interview on Thursday night, speaking of the urgently needed ventilators. ‘Think of this, you go to hospitals and they have one. And now all of a sudden everybody is asking for these vast numbers.’
New York, the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak, has 37,258 confirmed cases of coronavirus and at least 285 deaths.
New York City hospitals already report being overwhelmed by critical patients that need ventilators to stay alive, and experts believe that as the crisis deepens, doctors there may be forced to ration the machines and choose which patients receive the life-saving intervention.
Cuomo said this week his state has 4,000 ventilators and has purchased another 7,000. The U.S. government has pledged to send New York another 4,400 ventilators. That’s still far short of the 30,000 ventilators that Cuomo said the state will need if the crisis reaches its expected breaking point.
President Donald Trump has slammed Democratic governors for ‘complaining’ too much about the federal response to the coronavirus crisis
Trump claimed New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s (above) request for 30,000 ventilators is unnecessary and overblown
Sean Hannity concurred with Trump, calling Cuomo’s insistent pleas for the medical devices ‘annoying’
It came on a day of fast-moving developments in which:
- The US surpassed China and Italy with the most confirmed coronavirus cases in the world, at 83,553
- New research showed the outbreak could lead to more than 80,000 US deaths even with social distancing
- A 17-year-old from New Orleans became the second child to die as the city sees explosion of cases
- New Orleans is experiencing the highest growth in coronavirus cases seen anywhere in the world
- State officials warned that hospitals could collapse by April 4 if the daily growth rate remains at 65 percent
Trump revealed in his interview with Hannity that he had postponed a scheduled 9pm call with Chinese President Xi Jinping to appear on his program, remarking ‘that just shows when you have the number one rated show in television, I better change things around.’
Trump went on to say that he is ‘getting along with Governor Cuomo’ but dismissed the worst case scenario in New York as improbable.
‘I think that a lot of things are being said that are more, I don’t think certain things will materialize, a lot of equipment is being asked for but I don’t think they’ll need.’
Hannity concurred, calling Cuomo’s insistent pleas for the medical devices ‘annoying’.
‘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 said. ‘I don’t believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators. You know, 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?”
Doctors say that coronavirus patients often need ventilators for weeks, if not longer – slowing the hand-off from one patient to the next and potentially creating deadly shortages.
A ventilator is seen at the New York City Emergency Management Warehouse, where 400 ventilators arrived and before being shipped out for distribution. Cuomo has said the state needs a total of 30,000 ventilators and is far short
In his interview with Hannity, Trump also bashed Democrats Jay Inslee, the governor of Washington, and Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan’s governor.
‘The first line of attack is supposed to be the hospitals and the local government and the states — the states themselves,’ Trump said.
‘We have people like Governor Inslee, he should be doing more. He shouldn’t be relying on the federal government,’ said Trump, before mentioning the governor’s unsuccessful 2020 run.
‘That’s the state of Washington. He was a failed presidential candidate and he is always complaining,’ Trump said.
On a private conference call with all the governors on Thursday, Inslee reportedly implored Trump to use executive authority to ramp up production of necessary medical equipment. But Trump replied that the federal government is merely the ‘backup.’
‘I don’t want you to be the backup quarterback, we need you to be Tom Brady here,’ Inslee reportedly replied, invoking the football star and Trump’s friend in an apparent attempt at flattery.
Trump also slammed Michigan’s Governor Whitmer in the Fox News interview.
‘And the governor of Michigan, she’s not stepping up,’ Trump said. It echoed his prior remarks about Whitmer after she called the federal government’s states-first approach to the pandemic response ‘mind-boggling.’
Trump blasted Washington Governor Jay Inslee (above) saying, ‘He shouldn’t be relying on the federal government…He was a failed presidential candidate and he is always complaining’
Trump also slammed Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer (above), saying ‘I don’t know if she knows what’s going on, but all she does is sit there and blame the federal government. She doesn’t get it done and we send her a lot’
Earlier this week, Whitmer demanded ‘clear directives and guidance from the federal government.’
‘I don’t know if she knows what’s going on, but all she does is sit there and blame the federal government. She doesn’t get it done and we send her a lot. Now she wants a declaration of emergency and have to make a decision on that,’ Trump said.
‘We have had some trouble with the state of Washington and he ran for president, didn’t exactly do well, he got zero and we had a big problem with a woman governor, you know who I’m talking about, from Michigan. Though we can’t — we don’t like to see the complaints,’ he continued.
California’s Gavin Newsom, a Democrat and usually a fierce Trump critic, is among those who have gone out of their way not to lay the federal government’s failings during the coronavirus outbreak at Trump’s feet.
Newsom complimented Trump for ‘his focus on treatments’ for the virus and thanked him for sending masks and gloves to California. He said the president was ‘on top of it’ when it came to improving testing and said Trump was aware ‘even before I offered my own insight’ of the state’s need for more testing swabs.
Trump approved California’s request for a statewide disaster declaration within hours of Newsom asking on Sunday.
US now has the most coronavirus cases in the WORLD with 83,553 infections – more than China or Italy
The United States now has the most coronavirus cases in the world with 83,553 infections and 1,205 deaths.
New figures released on Thursday show that the US has overtaken China and Italy with the number of confirmed cases in the global pandemic.
Italy is still the hardest hit country in terms of deaths with more than 8,000 fatalities. China, where the pandemic began in December, has recorded more than 3,000 deaths.
The number of coronavirus infections have now topped a half-million worldwide.
It comes after the World Health Organization this week predicted a grim outlook for the US, saying that the country would quickly become the global epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic given the ‘very large acceleration’ of confirmed infections.
New York on Thursday recorded 100 coronavirus deaths in just 24 hours, bringing the state total to 385, as the number of fatal cases across the United States increased to 1,205.
New York, which is the epicenter of the US outbreak with 50 percent of the country’s total confirmed cases, now as 385 deaths and more than 37,000 infections.
There are 281 deaths in New York City and 21,873 infections.
Louisiana is now emerging as the possible next epicenter of the US outbreak after infections rose by 30 percent in 24 hours. That state recorded 2,305 infections and 83 deaths by Thursday. Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans has been blamed for the outbreak there.
New Jersey has 6,876 confirmed cases and 81 deaths, while California has 3,899 cases and 81 deaths. Washington state, which was initially the epicenter following an outbreak at a Seattle nursing home, now has 3,207 confirmed cases and 150 deaths.
It comes as new research showed the outbreak could lead to more than 80,000 deaths in the US within the next four months and overwhelm hospital capacity nationally as soon as early April even if social distancing measures are respected.
Forecasters at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine have predicted that during the epidemic peak – set for some point in April – as many as 2,300 patients could die every day.
This was the case even if the population adhered to strict social distancing measures.
Seventeen-year-old in New Orleans becomes the second child to die of coronavirus in the US this week – as Louisiana records the fastest growth rate of cases in the world
A 17-year-old from New Orleans has died from coronavirus as the city remains on track to become the next outbreak epicenter in the United States with one of the highest case growth rates in the world.
More than 2,300 people in Louisiana have tested positive for COVID-19 and 83 people have died in the two and a half weeks since the state’s first patient was reported on March 9.
The number of cases jumped by 510 in a single day on Thursday, up 28 percent from the night before, according to the Louisiana Department of Health.
Authorities have warned that hospitals could collapse by April 4 and that the state will run out of ventilators by the first week of next month if the case count continues to climb at its current daily rate of 65 percent.
As concerns grow that Louisiana could spark a larger spread across the southern states, experts say the crisis in New Orleans was likely accelerated by Mardi Gras, the iconic celebration that saw millions of tourists flock to the Big Easy over a period of several weeks, culminating with Fat Tuesday on February 25.
Bourbon Street in the famed New Orleans French Quarter is seen empty on Wednesday as residents shelter indoors
The New Orleans metro area accounts for almost half of Louisiana’s infections – with 997 reported in the city to date, more than the total number in all but 15 states.
Orleans Parish, which includes the city, has suffered the highest number of deaths per capita of any county in the US with 46.
The 17-year-old victim died Sunday, officials said, as he was named as Jaquan Anderson, an aspiring football player who attended a local public school. His dad Kevin Moran told Nola.com his son ‘died from heart failure’.
Moran said he was surprised by the coronavirus suggestion, adding: ‘People don’t want to let you heal. … I’m so upset.’ He said his son had not been ill in the days leading up to his death.
Paying tribute he said: ‘He was a fun-loving kid. All he wanted to do was help his mom and dad — get to the NFL and take care of us.’
He is one of the two youngest reported across the US after another teen the same age died in Los Angeles earlier this week.
Trump warns ‘one grandstander’ could try to slow down $2.2 trillion relief bill that the House will vote on Friday
President Trump discouraged House members from scuttling plans to pass the $2 trillion coronavirus relief package by voice vote Friday when he addressed reporters from the White House Thursday.
‘I think it will go through pretty well, from what I hear. Virtually everybody. There could be one vote. One vote. There could be one grandstander maybe,’ he said, though neglected to name any lawmaker. ‘And for that, we will have to come back and take a little more time. But it will pass. It’ll just take a little longer. But let’s see whether or not we have a grandstander.’
On Friday, the House of Representatives plans to vote for the package – and if no member objects can do so by voice vote, which means a quorum won’t have to be present.
Several lawmakers have already tested positive for the coronavirus, so both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy are taking precautions.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has green-lit a plan to have the House vote for the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package by voice vote – but that can be scuttled if just one member from either party objects
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has lashed out at Republicans because the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill does not include direct payments to illegal immigrants
Two lawmakers – one from each party – have threatened to object and request a recorded vote instead, which would force lawmakers to return to Washington.
On Wednesday, that’s something Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat, said she’d consider, objecting to the corporate-tilt of the package, which was first fashioned by Senate Republicans.
Ocasio-Cortez told CNN she was ‘open’ to demanding a recorded vote – though also was aware it would be an unpopular move.
‘With the health risks of travel, there is no easy choice here. But essential workers are showing up and putting their health at risk every day, and if the final text of a bill is set up to hurt them, it may be something we have to do,’ she said.
In a tweet, Ocasio-Cortez complained that the stimulus bill does not include direct payments to taxpayers without a Social Security number, including people living in the U.S. illegally.
‘To clarify, $1200 checks are ONLY going to some w/social sec numbers, NOT immigrants w/ tax IDs (ITINs),’ the freshman Democrat from New York wrote in a tweet on Thursday.
‘Thanks to GOP , these checks will be cut off the backs of *taxpaying immigrants,* who get nothing. Many are essential workers who pay more taxes than Amazon,’ she continued.
The Internal Revenue Service issues ITINs to taxpayers who are ineligible for a Social Security number, mostly – though not exclusively – because they are present in the country illegally.
Then on Thursday, Rep. Thomas Massie, a Kentucky Republican, expressed that he might hold up the bill as well, citing Constitutional issues about voting without a quorum present.
He also pointed out, according to the Washington Post , that members of the Senate are, on average, older than those in the House, and they came to Washington and voted Wednesday.
‘If 96 percent of them can make it, then can’t 51 percent of the people who, on average, aren’t in the dangerous cohort, more vulnerable cohort — how come they can’t make it?’ Massie mused.