Governors press Trump on coronavirus response

 Governors press Trump on coronavirus response
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Leaders in cities and states across the country hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic pressed President TrumpDonald John TrumpWith VP pick, Biden can't play small ball in a long ball world Coronavirus hits defense contractor jobs Wake up America, your country doesn't value your life MORE on Sunday to do more in the fight against the outbreak. 

Democrats who say hospitals are running dangerously low on necessary medical equipment are pushing Trump to take steps to make sure those supplies are manufactured and shipped to hospitals and are asking him to mobilize the military.

New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioSunday shows preview: Lawmakers, state governors talk coronavirus, stimulus package and resources as pandemic rages on Sacrificing American lives on the altar of the Dow Jones Trump to travel to see naval hospital ship deploy to NYC MORE (D), whose city has a third of all COVID-19 cases across the country, said he has repeatedly asked for the military to be mobilized to aid in mitigating the spread of the virus. 

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“The President of the United States is from New York City and he will not lift a finger to help his hometown. And I do not get it. I do not get it,” he said on NBC’s “meet the Press.” 

“I can’t be blunt enough. If the president does not act, people will die who could have lived otherwise,” he added. 

The mayor is calling for all medically trained military personnel to be sent to New York, and said any ventilators being created need to be sent to New York in the next 10 days. 

“The only force in America that could do that is the military," de Blasio said. "Why are they at their bases? Why are they not being allowed to serve? I guarantee you they're ready to serve. But the president has to give the order.”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) also called on Sunday for Trump to order companies to manufacture necessary medical supplies under the Defense Production Act. 

“The states simply cannot manage it,” he said during his daily press conference. “States all across the country can’t handle it. Certainly, the states that are dealing with the highest caseload can’t handle it.”

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Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Peter Gaynor said on CNN’s “State of the Union” Trump has not ordered any companies to being producing medical supplies, dismissing the need to do so since companies are donating supplies. 

“It really is leverage, I think that to demonstrate that we can use it, the president can use it any time,” he said, when asked if Trump is using his authority to order companies to do so. 

“And we haven't had to use it, because companies around the country, donations, they are saying, what can we do to help you? And it's happening without using that -- that lever. If it comes to a point we have to pull the lever, we will. But, right now, it is really -- it's really a great sign about the greatness of this country,” he added. 

But lawmakers in states impacted by the pandemic did not express the same level of confidence. 

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOvernight Energy: Court upholds Trump repeal of Obama fracking rule | Oil price drop threatens fracking boom | EPA eases rules on gasoline sales amid coronavirus Ocasio-Cortez blasts coronavirus stimulus package as 'shameful' on House floor Oil price drop threatens US fracking boom MORE (D-N.Y.) echoed the pleas of de Blasio and Cuomo, stressing the need for production to begin before a surge of cases she said has yet to come. 

“There is kind of no real stream in sight from the federal government on where these materials are coming from,” she said, noting that hospitals in her district have said they’re at or approaching capacity.  

“You know, companies are donating what they can. That is great, it's not enough. The fact that the president has not really invoked the Defense Production Act for the purchase of emergency manufacture is going to cost lives.”

Similar to New York lawmakers, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) said Trump needs to push for the manufacturing of equipment. 

Pritzker said due to depleting resources, states across the country are competing with each other on the open market for personal protection equipment (PPE). 

“It’s a wild, wild West out there, and indeed [we’re] overpaying for PPE because of that competition,” Pritzker said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Pritzker said the situation has gotten a little better since FEMA has taken control as the central repository, but he said his state has still received a fraction of the experiment it asked for. 

President Trump hit back at Pritzker, and seemingly other governors who called out the administration on Sunday shows, for “blaming the Federal Government for their won shortcomings.” 

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“.@JBPritzker, Governor of Illinois, and a very small group of certain other Governors, together with Fake News @CNN & Concast (MSDNC), shouldn’t be blaming the Federal Government for their own shortcomings. We are there to back you up should you fail, and always will be!,” Trump tweeted Sunday. 

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) also criticized the federal governments’ response — or lack thereof. 

“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 on ABC’s “This Week.” 

“Lives will be lost because we weren’t prepared,” she added. “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.”

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Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R-Md.) agreed with some of his Democratic counterparts, saying that progress is not being made fast enough, but he said the focus should be on what happens next to protect residents as opposed to discussing what was not done before. 

“I don't think just talking about what was done wrong yesterday or last week or last year is really that helpful in the discussion,” Hogan said on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” adding that governors are meeting regularly with each other and federal officials. 

“Failures were made and things that should have happened sooner, but I just want to focus on where we go from here because our job is to save the citizens … instead of just asking about what didn’t get done I just want to just get things done,” he added. 

More than 27,000 COVID-19 cases and 347 deaths are confirmed in the U.S., according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. 

Globally, more than 318,000 cases and 13,600 deaths were confirmed, according to the same data.