Colorado Democrat: Shipment of ventilators to her state seems like favor to Gardner

Colorado Democrat: Shipment of ventilators to her state seems like favor to Gardner
© Greg Nash

A Democratic lawmaker from Colorado is accusing the White House of securing ventilators for her state as a political favor to help a vulnerable Republican senator's reelection chances.

Rep. Diana DeGetteDiana Louise DeGetteShort-term health plans leave consumers on the hook for massive medical costs, investigation finds White House shifts focus from coronavirus Administration rolls back pollution standards amid a global pandemic MORE (D-Colo.) told CNN that it appears as if President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew Jersey incumbents steamroll progressive challengers in primaries Tucker Carlson ratchets up criticism of Duckworth, calls her a 'coward' Trump on Confederate flag: 'It's freedom of speech' MORE was making sure that supplies are first handed out to states in which he has a political interest.

"It seems that way to me," DeGette responded when asked if the White House's decision to send 100 ventilators to Colorado was related to a discussion between Trump and Sen. Cory Gardener (R-Colo.). 

ADVERTISEMENT

"I was totally outraged," DeGette added.

Colorado's congressional delegation had initially requested 10,000 ventilators for the state, according to DeGette. The administration eventually announced the release of 100 for the state on Wednesday after Gardner spoke to Trump on a phone call Tuesday night, CNN noted.

"Nowhere did it say if a Republican senator calls up the president they can get it," DeGette added, referring to White House coronavirus task force guidelines for sending supplies to states.

Gardner is considered one of the most vulnerable GOP senators up for reelection in 2020.

Colorado Gov. Jared PolisJared Schutz PolisProtesters surround Aurora Police precinct after photos emerge of officers mocking Elijah McClain's death Officer involved in taking pictures mocking Elijah McClain resigns Colorado governor closes bars amid rise in virus cases MORE (D) celebrated news of the ventilators being shipped to his state when contacted by CNN and did not speculate about a political motive.

ADVERTISEMENT

"Well, you're not going to get my read on it because I'm not here to do political analysis," Polis said. "I'm here to celebrate any ventilators that arrive in our state and, of course, we are grateful for 100 ventilators."

When contacted by CNN, a Gardner spokesperson pointed to the senator's comments on Fox News, where the lawmaker praised the president for his role in securing the ventilators.

"The governor has been searching for ventilators and FEMA has also been searching for ventilators. I talked to the president last night about the Colorado need for ventilators, and of course, I'm very thankful that he provided that last night," Gardner said. "We're going to continue to work with the president for more and continue to meet Colorado's needs, but I think it's just a sign that we are fighting for Colorado."