President Donald Trump is refusing to take the urgent concerns of many local leaders seriously in the midst of the Coronavirus outbreak. This Sunday morning on CNN, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker (D) revealed his state’s struggles to obtain simple supplies like personal protective equipment for medical professionals dealing with those who are sick, and what did Trump do in response? He rushed to Twitter to insist that there was no issue with the federal government’s response and Pritzker and other governors are the ones with “shortcomings.” It’s worth noting — Trump’s claim that there’s little to no issue with his administration’s work stands in direct contrast to the repeated admissions otherwise from the National Institutes of Health’s Dr. Anthony Fauci.
After Trump basically labels a reporter's question about a lack of surgical masks as fake news, Fauci takes the mic and tells the reporter, "you're not making things up. I know that." pic.twitter.com/3Yq5iQ1a5b
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 21, 2020
Sunday, Trump tweeted:
‘@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!’
.@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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 22, 2020
Trump could have sought more details about the needs that Pritzker cited for his state. He could have privately consulted with top members of his administration to determine how the federal government could take care of those needs. Instead, he, by all appearances, did none of those things. He rushed to Twitter to wheel out some more of his petulant cyberbullying, like protecting his ego is one of the most important issues here. (Hint: it’s not.)
Pritzker’s comments on CNN weren’t even that extreme! Among other points, he made the simple observation:
‘We were getting very little help before … we’re gonna receive another shipment of PPE later today or tomorrow, but it’s a fraction still of what we’ve requested.’
Gov. Pritzker was on CNN this morning and said of the federal coronavirus response effort, "we were getting very little help before … we're gonna receive another shipment of PPE later today or tomorrow, but it's a fraction still of what we've requested." https://t.co/NqFByZUFNJ
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 22, 2020
Nevertheless, Trump whined and freaked out. The response mirrors his freakout on NBC reporter Peter Alexander when asked the simple, softball question of what message he had for scared Americans. Trump insisted in response that Alexander was a “terrible reporter.” He seems to have taken the mere notion that any Americans are scared as a threat to his public image and ego.
Peter Alexander (NBC): “What do you say to Americans who are scared?” Trump: “I say that you’re a terrible reporter …” Jennifer Senior: “Only a liar — and a weak man with delusions of competence — would be so unnerved by the facts.” #COVID19 #journalism https://t.co/CyXvubblKc
— David Tames (@cinemakinoeye) March 22, 2020
Check out Twitter’s response…