President Trump on Thursday called some unnamed state leaders seeking greater amounts of coronavirus medical supplies “complainers,” telling the governors that they “should have stocked up” before the crisis.
In a series of tweets, Trump said some governors have “insatiable appetites” for medical equipment needed to fight the spread of a virus that threatens to kill up to 240,000 Americans over the coming months.
“Massive amounts of medical supplies, even hospitals and medical centers, are being delivered directly to states and hospitals by the Federal Government,” Trump wrote. “Some have insatiable appetites & are never satisfied (politics?). Remember, we are a backup for them.”
Trump added, “The complainers should have been stocked up and ready long before this crisis hit. Other states are thrilled with the job we have done. Sending many Ventilators today, with thousands being built. 51 large cargo planes coming in with medical supplies. Prefer sending directly to hospitals.”
….have been stocked up and ready long before this crisis hit. Other states are thrilled with the job we have done. Sending many Ventilators today, with thousands being built. 51 large cargo planes coming in with medical supplies. Prefer sending directly to hospitals.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 2, 2020
Trump did not specify which critics he was referring to, but a group of Democratic governors that include Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, Andrew Cuomo of New York, J.B. Pritzker of Illinois and Jay Inslee of Washington state have been critical in recent weeks of the slow pace of federal assistance.
“These tweets are disgusting,” said Walter Shaub, former director of the Office of Government Ethics. “This is a man desperate to shift blame instead of save a country because he knows he’s over his head. He doesn’t care who dies, he cares who votes for him.”
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned Thursday that the state’s supply of breathing machines could be exhausted in six days if the number of people made critically ill by the coronavirus outbreak continues at its current rate.
Trump’s tweet comes as the COVID-19 death toll in the United States neared 6,000 and confirmed cases topped 234,000.