Amidst the global Coronavirus pandemic that has claimed the lives of over 2,300 Americans and counting, President Donald Trump has stuck to his egomania. At a recent press conference, he even revealed that he’d shied away from returning calls of governors including Washington Democrat Jay Inslee because he thought they weren’t “appreciative” enough. This weekend on CNN, Inslee said that he “certainly hopes” that Trump’s animosity isn’t affecting his state’s ability to get life-saving federal support — but months into the struggle, some areas in Washington are still struggling on issues as basic as getting Coronavirus testing kits.
Inslee indicated that he and his own partners are working apart from the president’s mud-slinging. He told host Jake Tapper that his team has a “great working relationship with the Army” and “good, open lines of communication with FEMA.” He said that his team is “not distracted by some of the noise out of the White House” — and it’s a dismal day indeed when a president of the United States resorts to that “noise” amidst a deadly pandemic in the first place.
More broadly, Inslee also addressed the president’s slightly less vitriolic idea to ease social distancing demands in some areas of the country that have suffered slightly less than the rest in terms of total Coronavirus cases and deaths.
The governor indicated, in short, that the president’s plan is wishful thinking and disconnected from reality — although that certainly hasn’t stopped the president from pushing it anyway.
‘We need to make decisions based on science and reality, and there are some hard realities we have to understand, and that is unless we continue a very vigorous social distancing program in my state, this is going to continue to spread like wildfire in every single corner of my state. That is an inevitable scientific fact, and we have only one weapon to prevent that, and that is to continue our social distancing.’
If social distancing restrictions are relaxed, as he indicated, the virus could spread unchecked and drive even more carnage than what’s already unfolded with the restrictions in place. He continued:
‘I would not want to be responsible for opening the door to this virus to ravage our places that seem okay today, but within ten weeks, within ten days, can be at full-scale burning through our hospital system.’
Inslee also had direct priorities that he feels the federal government should take on, although Trump has offered only middling support to struggling governors who’ve been trying to get crucial supplies.
Host Jake Tapper asked:
‘Just yesterday, the mayor of Seattle told CNN that they are “running blind” and have almost no testing in the Seattle area, so I want to ask you: what does your state need? What do you not have enough of right now?’
The governor shared in response that testing availability has gotten so dire that someone in his state recently had to drive hundreds of miles for basic supplies. He explained:
‘Well, we have a desperate need for the testing kits. We’ve had some considerable success building up the capacity to analyze the samples when they’re taken… we simply don’t have the materials to take the test itself… We just do not have those simple things, and that is why we have got the mobilize the entire manufacturing base of the United States, like we did in World War II.’