Trump to reporter pressing him about ventilators: ‘Don’t be a cutie pie’
President Trump shot back at a reporter pressing him about the availability of ventilators, telling him to not “be a cutie pie.”
The exchange occurred at a White House press conference Friday regarding the administration’s coronavirus response.
ABC News’s Jonathan Karl asked Trump what the president could do to assure “these states, these hospitals, that everybody who needs a ventilator will get a ventilator.”
“I think we’re in really good shape. This is a pandemic, the likes of which nobody’s seen before,” Trump said, praising the work the government has already done to provide ventilators when possible.
“But everybody who needs one will be able to get a ventilator?” Karl pressed.
“Look, don’t be a cutie pie, okay?” Trump fired back. “Nobody’s done what we’ve been able to do.”
Not the response I expected. https://t.co/u2nD4cMjlI
— Jonathan Karl (@jonkarl) March 27, 2020
The exchange comes as Trump’s daily briefings on the administration’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak toggle between praise of the government’s actions and criticism of the press.
Trump has bristled at media coverage detailing shortages states and hospitals are facing over tools like respirators and ventilators, as well as gloves and other personal protective equipment, or PPE.
“I say that you’re a terrible reporter,” Trump told NBC News’s Peter Alexander last week when asked what message he would send to scared Americans. “That’s what I say. I think it’s a very nasty question, and I think it’s a very bad signal that you’re putting out to the American people.”
Despite Trump’s dismissal of criticism regarding the government’s response, governors have been persistent that they are facing shortages of crucial supplies. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), whose state is the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak, said Friday that he will ask the president for the authorization to build four additional temporary hospitals due to a “shortfall” of hospital beds.
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