Trump To States On Obtaining Medically-Necessary Equipment: ‘Try Getting It Yourselves’

Last week, when asked about access to medically-necessary equipment in preparation to the impending coronavirus outbreak across the nation, President Donald Trump sought to assure reporters at the White House that things were under control.

“We’re in the process, and in some cases have already done it, ordered a large number of respirators just in case. We hope we don’t need them but we’ve ordered a large number,” Trump said.

But there appears to be a shortage of respirators and ventilators available across the U.S., according to reporting from ABC News.

“We have a lot of ventilators in reserve, [but] if we hit numbers where all those ventilators are in use…I think we could wind up being in trouble,” Dr. J. Randall Curtis said.

Curtis, who is the former president of the American Thoracic Society, knows firsthand how bad things could get — he’s currently working as part of the fight against the spread of disease in Seattle, Washington, the state that’s been hit hardest by coronavirus so far.

It appears that the Trump administration is now striking a different tune on the availability of ventilators. While in a conference call with governors on Monday, Trump told them, essentially, they were on their own on the matter for the time being.

“Respirators, ventilators, all of the equipment — try getting it yourselves,” Trump told the governors, according to reporting from the New York Times. “We will be backing you, but try getting it yourselves. Points of sales, much better, much more direct if you can get it yourself.”

That struck a nerve with a number of governors involved in the meeting, including Gov. Michelle LUjan Grisham of New Mexico, who pointed out that it wouldn’t do the nation any good if one state was ill-prepared.

“If one state doesn’t get the resources and materials they need, the entire nation continues to be at risk,” she said.

Featured image credit: The White House/Flickr

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