Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) criticized the federal government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, saying on Sunday that “lives will be lost because we weren’t prepared.”
Whitmer told ABC’s “This Week” that she thinks the officials should have begun addressing the impending crisis earlier to allow for the U.S. to prepare.
“Had the federal government really started focusing when it became clear that the whole world was going to be confronting this, we would be in a stronger position right now,” she said.
Whitmer called on officials to give states more test kits, personal protective equipment like masks and gloves and “clear, directive guidance” during the pandemic.
She added that after the crisis, the federal government is going to “have to analyze where all the failures were.”
“Lives will be lost because we weren’t prepared,” she said. “Our economy will struggle longer because we didn’t take this seriously as early enough as a country. And there are going to be consequences of that.”
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on COVID-19: “I can’t afford to have a fight with the White House, but the fact of the matter is at some point we’re going to have to analyze where all the failures were … lives will be lost because we weren’t prepared.” https://t.co/AH0Ahyp5uW pic.twitter.com/rqeBBxWIXc— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) March 22, 2020
“But right now I’ve got to solve problems and I need the federal government to help me make sure that I’ve got what we need for our frontline providers, in particular, but also ventilators for people that are going suffer,” she added.
The Trump administration has defended its response to the outbreak, blaming China for delaying its ability to act.
Whitmer called for a temporary ban on bars and restaurants last week, starting on Monday and has closed all schools. The state has recorded 238 cases of coronavirus, leading to two deaths.
Across the country, more than 26,700 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19, leading to at least 340 deaths and 176 recoveries, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.