President Donald Trump has repeatedly struggled during the daily Coronavirus press conferences that his administration has been doing. He hasn’t even produced a clear answer as to whether or not he has invoked the powers of the Defense Production Act to direct the manufacturing of additional medical equipment that American health care facilities will need as the Coronavirus outbreak continues to expand. Is that production happening now? In the future? During a CNN appearance this weekend, national security expert Juliette Kayyem slammed Trump for the uncertainty, which she says needed to be resolved weeks ago.
Let’s try this again, @realdonaldtrump:
Hospitals are already running out of ventilators and beds. Nurses are using bandanas as masks.
If you’ve already ordered more with the Defense Production Act, tell us now.
If you haven’t, you’re failing to lead and failing Americans.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) March 19, 2020
The problem, of course, is that weeks ago, Trump was insisting that the Coronavirus was nothing to be concerned about at all. At one rally, he infamously claimed that concern over the virus was a hoax. On other occasions, he made claims like that the virus would simply disappear from the U.S. and the number of cases would soon wind down to zero. In reality, they’re almost at 20,000 as of early Saturday.
President Trump has said he's invoking the Defense Production Act to ramp up production, but he hasn't wielded his federal powers yet as health officials voice alarm about potential shortages of lifesaving medical supplies for fighting coronavirus' spread https://t.co/RzeO6HHYH0
— CNN (@CNN) March 21, 2020
‘The Defense Production Act allows the president to either take supplies and get them to the front lines, or prioritize these companies to get these things we need. Manufacturing takes a while so we should have done this weeks ago and the president is clearly trying to fool the American public.’
He’s done a lot of apparent attempted fooling already. Besides his wavering claims about the Defense Production Act, he’s also claimed that Navy hospital ships were heading to hard-hit areas to assist with local health care system capacity — but the ships he mentioned weren’t even apparently ready to sail at the time of his comments. He also claimed that a malaria drug could be used to treat Coronavirus, but public health officials had to quickly step in and clarify that no actual approval had yet been issued.
"In an extraordinary exchange, President Donald Trump and the government’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, publicly sparred Friday on whether a malaria drug would work to treat people with coronavirus disease." https://t.co/ytQjMGy1ah
— Michael Tackett (@tackettdc) March 21, 2020
‘We’re fighting a 50 state war on charity, on the charity of the CEOs maybe willing to give us certain things. The president’s unwillingness to do this is just so passive. You can’t quite conceive that this is his job, right? It’s just so passive and then, meanwhile, you know, we’re not getting that production line moving. I should say to everyone, this is the easy part; this is just about logistics. We’re not trying to make a vaccine. We’re not going to the moon. This is just getting stuff from point A the point to B. This is the easy stuff we know how to do this and the president can’t. He just doesn’t know how to do it.’
Ironically, Trump has bungled vaccine-related issues, too. He’s claimed that one would be on the way for the Coronavirus in a much shorter time frame than the reality.
I hope Trump is forever known by this disgusting, insensitive moment.
Peter Alexander asked him a basic question about what he had to say to Americans who are afraid.
And Trump lashed out.
Peter and NBC has a colleague die today to the Coronavirus.
I loathe this man. pic.twitter.com/rR4d9g6o1T
— Shaun King (@shaunking) March 20, 2020
Trump has stuck throughout this crisis to what MSNBC host Rachel Maddow derided this week as empty “happy talk.” When one reporter asked him for a message to scared Americans, Trump simply lashed out, apparently unnerved at the suggestion that he’s not completely great and all in control — but we can all see his behavior!
To hear Trump tell it, there's a website w coronavirus testing info, millions of test kits avail, an approved treatment, a vaccine coming soon, plenty of masks, & a ship that'll be off the coast of NY next week to help patients.
That's not the reality.https://t.co/VUim8CmJZE
— Heidi Przybyla (@HeidiNBC) March 20, 2020