President Trump advised a group of governors during a conference call Monday morning to acquire key supplies such as respirators and ventilators themselves amid the coronavirus outbreak, according to the New York Times.
The Times reported Monday that Trump told the governors in the conference call to “try getting it yourselves” when it comes to “respirators, ventilators, all of the equipment.”
“We will be backing you, but try getting it yourselves,” Trump said, according to the Times. “Point of sales, much better, much more direct if you can get it yourself.”
According to the Times, some governors were astonished by Trump’s remarks given how they’re looking to the federal government to provide assistance in acquiring equipment, personnel and financial aid.
During the call, Trump particularly drew fire from Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham for his administration’s response to the outbreak.
“If one state doesn’t get the resources and materials they need, the entire nation continues to be at risk,” Lujan Grisham said, according to the Times.
The Times noted that Trump repeated his optimistic rhetoric regarding the coronavirus outbreak during the call by telling governors that “we’re going to get it remedied and hopefully very quickly.”
Shortly after the Times published its report, the President tweeted about his “very good tele-conference” with the governors while also throwing New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo — who announced Sunday that New York state will close public schools in New York City, Westchester, Suffolk and Nassau — under the bus. Cuomo has called for a greater federal response as New York and other states come under increased stress from the COVID-19 spread.
Just had a very good tele-conference with Nations’s Governors. Went very well. Cuomo of New York has to “do more”.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 16, 2020
Trump’s latest remarks come a day after he advised against panic-buying in response to the outbreak during a White House press briefing.
“You don’t have to buy so much,” Trump said Sunday. “Take it easy, just relax. People are going in and buying more.”