By Jon Dougherty @TheNatSent
(TNS) As the administration ramps up its response to the continuing spread of Wuhan coronavirus, President Donald Trump is becoming increasingly frustrated with the constant carping coming from (mostly) Democratic governors and mayors.
Despite the fact that the government has stockpiled pandemic response supplies in warehouses around the country, anyone who’s been in government at the state or federal level for any length of time knows that it takes time, thanks to bureaucracy, for ‘things to happen’ like getting those supplies distributed.
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Not to mention the fact that America is a big place with 50 states and right now, pretty much ofÂ all of them are experiencing shortages of medical supplies like personal protective equipment (PPE) — those masks, latex gloves, and paper-like gowns worn by healthcare staffers to protect themselves from becoming infected.
Mind you, we are short of those supplies in the normal global supply pipeline because of decisions made for decades by past presidents, congresses, and American corporations to offshore the majority of U.S. industrial capacity toÂ make these items in our own country.
Nearly all of that capacity has been moved to China, a potential adversary and country that is responsible for this outbreak. The Chinese government has forbidden those supplies to be shipped out of the country because the Chinese government needs them for its own people. Go figure.
So, given all of this, it isn’t as though the president can snap his fingers and magically ship all of the PPE requested by, say, the governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of good people working 24/7 toÂ get the states what they need. Thus, as a governor, publicly whining about what your state doesn’t have yet isn’t helpful because you’re not alone, by a long shot.
Trump finally seems to have gotten his belly full of the bitching, especially from Democrats whom he feels — probably correctly — are using the outbreak for political advantage, to try and make coronavirus his “Katrina.”
To that end, the president went off (as he does) on Whitmer Friday in some tweets, claiming — probably correctly — that she doesn’t know the full extent of what is being done in order to get states the medical equipment they need.
“I love Michigan, one of the reasons we are doing such a GREAT job for them during this horrible Pandemic. Yet your Governor, Gretchen ‘Half’ Whitmer is way in over her head, she doesnâ€™t have a clue. Likes blaming everyone for her own ineptitude!” he wrote.
I love Michigan, one of the reasons we are doing such a GREAT job for them during this horrible Pandemic. Yet your Governor, Gretchen “Half” Whitmer is way in over her head, she doesn’t have a clue. Likes blaming everyone for her own ineptitude! #MAGA
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2020
Earlier, during a Friday briefing on the virus, Trump admitted he’s urged Vice President Mike Pence, the head of the task force, not to call Whitmer and discuss anything with her until she shows some appreciation for what the administration is trying to do.
â€œI think they should be appreciative,â€ he said of governors like Whitmer. â€œBecause you know what? When theyâ€™re not appreciative to me, theyâ€™re not appreciative to the Army Corps, theyâ€™re not appreciative to FEMA, itâ€™s not right. These people are incredible. Theyâ€™re working 24 hours a day. I mean, Mike Pence, I donâ€™t think he sleeps anymore.
â€œThese are people that should be appreciated. He calls all the governors. I tell him, I mean, Iâ€™m a different type of person. I say, â€˜Mike, donâ€™t call the governor of Washington. Youâ€™re wasting your time with him. Donâ€™t call the woman in Michigan.â€™ â€¦ If they donâ€™t treat you right, I donâ€™t call. Heâ€™s a different type of person. Heâ€™ll call quietly anyway, okay? But heâ€™s done a great job. He should be appreciated for the job heâ€™s done,” he continued.
The president was complaining about Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, noting that â€œhe leveled out at zero in the polls, heâ€™s constantly chirping, and I guess complaining would be a nice way of saying it.â€
The president himself probably isn’t sleeping much, either, else we would have seen someone leak that to the New York Times.
For her part, Whitmer claimed that her state has been blackballed (by the Trump administration) from getting the supplies they need.
Speaking on Detroit radio station WWJ Friday, she insinuated that medical supply vendors are being told by the Trump administration to not conduct business with her state.
â€œWhen the federal government told us that we needed to go it ourselves, we started procuring every item we could get our hands-on,â€ she reportedly said. â€œWhat Iâ€™ve gotten back is that vendors with whom we had contracts are now being told not to send stuff here to Michigan. Itâ€™s really concerning.â€
â€œWeâ€™ve entered into a number of contracts and as we are getting closer to the date when shipments are supposed to come in, theyâ€™re getting canceled or theyâ€™re getting delayed,â€ she reportedly added during an appearance slightly later on CNN. â€œWeâ€™ve been told theyâ€™re going first to the federal government.â€
A night earlier, the president told Fox News the government was “sending her a lot” in terms of supplies.
Speaking on Fox News tonight, Trump attacks Michigan Gov. Whitmer on her coronavirus response: “She’s not stepping up. I don’t know if she knows what’s going on.”
Trump adds: “I love the people of Michigan” and “I’m bringing back…many car factories.” pic.twitter.com/yxXpGuxv91
— Niraj Warikoo (@nwarikoo) March 27, 2020
Which begot this response:
Hi, my name is Gretchen Whitmer, and that governor is me ?
I've asked repeatedly and respectfully for help. We need it. No more political attacks, just PPEs, ventilators, N95 masks, test kits. You said you stand with Michigan — prove it. https://t.co/FtWlTLZdqW
— Governor Gretchen Whitmer (@GovWhitmer) March 27, 2020
Maybe there is some blame to be shared by both.
Because of confusing directives from the federal government, â€œstates are being forced into bidding wars to get medical equipment to combat coronavirus,â€ according to Forbes.
Then again WhitmerÂ has reportedly been requiring â€œpharmacists to police â€” and potentially second-guess â€” the health recommendations of doctorsâ€ as it pertains to theÂ potential coronavirus cureÂ chloroquine, as reported byÂ Breitbart.
And there is this: Whitmer has an honesty problem.
So look, the thing is, taking these fights public isn’t helpful. They never are. But what we do know is this: Thanks to factors well beyond President Trump’s control, which occurred years before he took office, there are delays in getting much-needed supplies to states and healthcare centers at a time of pandemic.
If our leaders don’t learn anything from this, they must be replaced on Election Day.
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