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Opinion Trump commits to helping blue states fight the coronavirus — if their governors are nice to him

22:10  25 march  2020
22:10  25 march  2020 Source:   vox.com

Trump clashes with reporter during coronavirus briefing: 'Be nice'

  Trump clashes with reporter during coronavirus briefing: 'Be nice' President Trump clashed with a reporter on Sunday during a press briefing on the coronavirus outbreak in the Rose Garden.PBS NewsHour reporter Yamiche Alcindor questioned the president during the briefing about recent comments made by Trump during an interview with Fox News's Sean Hannity over whether some requests made by governors related to the outbreak were overblown or unnecessary.Trump responded by first denying that he had made the comments, which were reported by multiple news outlets at the time, before accusing Alcindor of acting "threatening" during the briefing."Why don't you act in a little more positive...

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

Andrew Cuomo looking at the camera: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference on Tuesday. © Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference on Tuesday.

President Donald Trump says he’s willing to help blue-state governors who are struggling to contain coronavirus outbreaks — but only if they’re willing to stop criticizing him in exchange.

“It’s a two-way street,” Trump told Fox News on Tuesday. “They have to treat us well, also. They can’t say, ‘Oh, gee, we should get this, we should get that.’”

NY, NJ, Connecticut to close bars, eateries to fight virus

  NY, NJ, Connecticut to close bars, eateries to fight virus Bars, restaurants and movie theaters are being shuttered at 8 p.m. Monday throughout New York, New Jersey and Connecticut because of the coronavirus, the states' governors said. The governors said essential businesses like supermarkets and gas stations will be able to stay open after 8 p.m., though all non-essential businesses must close. Restaurants will be able to offer take-out and delivery. The steps mark the latest escalation of efforts to keep people apart in the New York metropolitan area, and an attempt to coordinate a response.“We've got to work through this together. The feds have been asleep at the switch," Connecticut Gov.

Trump’s comments came as Andrew Cuomo — the Democratic governor of New York, the state currently at the heart of America’s coronavirus outbreak — pleaded with Trump to do more to provide his state (and others) with medical gear and ventilators. Trump’s line seems to be that Cuomo isn’t in a position to make demands unless he refrains from criticizing the federal government (and, by extension, him).

When Trump isn’t attacking Democratic governors — already this month he’s described Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer as “failing,” accused Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker of “blaming the Federal Government for [his] own shortcomings,” and smeared Washington Gov. Jay Inslee as “a snake” — the president has been insisting that it’s up to them to procure the supplies they need to prevent their hospital from being overwhelmed.

Trump to Governors on Ventilators: ‘Try Getting It Yourselves’

  Trump to Governors on Ventilators: ‘Try Getting It Yourselves’ President Trump told a group of governors on Monday morning that they should not wait for the federal government to fill the growing demand for respirators needed to treat people with coronavirus. “Respirators, ventilators, all of the equipment — try getting it yourselves,” Mr. Trump told the governors during the conference call, a recording of which was shared with The New York Times. “We will be backing you, but try getting it yourselves. Point of sales, much better, much more direct if you can get it yourself.

“They have to get that gear themselves,” Trump told Fox News on Tuesday, referring to Democratic governors, adding that “they shouldn’t be hitting us.” (It’s worth noting that Trump hasn’t criticized Republican governors for their coronavirus responses.)

But telling the states to fend for themselves isn’t really viable insofar as Trump’s goal is to save lives, not score political points.

On Tuesday, the Washington Post detailed how a “mad scramble for masks, gowns and ventilators is pitting states against each other and driving up prices.” For that reason, governors like Cuomo and health care officials are begging Trump to take a more active approach in procuring equipment, whether it be on the open market or as a result of forcing private companies to do it with the Defense Production Act he’s been so reluctant to use. (During a news conference on Tuesday, Cuomo said he can’t “for the life of me understand the reluctance to use the Defense Production Act,” adding that the ventilators he’s demanding from the federal government “will make the difference between life and death, literally” for coronavirus patients in New York.)

Arizona National Guard to help replenish grocery stores

  Arizona National Guard to help replenish grocery stores Gov. Doug Ducey said "we're going to employ the Guard as needed."Arizona's National Guard is currently battling the coronavirus outbreak by helping to fill grocery stores, Gov. Doug Ducey said Monday.

Cuomo seems to understand the game Trump is playing. On Monday, the Post reported that the governor is “avoiding criticism of President Trump and the federal government’s response to the outbreak in a bid to get what he wants.” Along those lines, even as he was criticizing the federal government’s response on Tuesday, Cuomo refrained from taking aim directly at the president.

Yet even Cuomo’s indirect criticisms were enough to rankle Trump. He subsequently told Fox News that he “watched Governor Cuomo” during his news conference on Tuesday and noted that “he was complaining.”

“He was talking about the ventilator — he should’ve ordered the ventilators,” Trump added.

Later, with a smirk on his face, Trump — apparently still perturbed by Cuomo’s comments — went as far as to try blaming the governor for the number of coronavirus cases in his state.

Trump Says U.S. States Don't Need the Amount of Ventilators They Requested

  Trump Says U.S. States Don't Need the Amount of Ventilators They Requested "You know, at a major hospital sometimes they'll have two ventilators," Trump said. "All of a sudden they're saying, 'Can we order 30,000 ventilators?'"Trump has been the subject of criticism over the distribution of medical equipment from federal stockpiles, with some state governors saying they do not have enough ventilators available to properly care for patients hospitalized with COVID-19.

Trump’s equivocation about providing federal help to blue states reveals how he views the world in transactional terms. He doesn’t think of himself as obligated to do anything for people he doesn’t view as part of his team — unless he gets something in return, like investigating the Bidens (in the case of the Ukraine scandal that led to his impeachment) or refraining from criticizing his government (in the case of Cuomo).

That might be a viable way of thinking in the rough-and-tumble world of New York real estate, but it’s a bad fit for roles of authority where you’re supposedly duty-bound to help everyone, not just your supporters. But even with American lives on the line, this particular president can’t seem to help himself.

The news moves fast. To stay updated, follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter, and read more of Vox’s policy and politics coverage.

Biden: Fauci is a 'truth-teller' .
Former Vice President Joe Biden said on Monday that President Trump is right to include Dr. Anthony Fauci in the White House's coronavirus task force briefings, calling the country's top infectious disease doctor a "truth-teller.""What they're doing right is letting Dr. Fauci speak more often. He's a truth-teller," Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, said in an interview with MSNBC.

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