In an appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Friday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio claimed that President Donald Trump‘s White House has stopped answering his pleas for help amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“The federal government doesn’t even exist at this moment,” he said, per Raw Story.
De Blasio noted that New York City has the highest number of COVID-19 infections in the United States and urged self-reliance in the face of the Trump administration’s alleged unresponsiveness. His comment came as host Joe Scarborough urged Trump to work with the White House and the federal government to coordinate the provision of crucial medical equipment to states.
According to de Blasio, he recently reached out to Vice President Mike Pence and was forwarded to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, with whom he claims to have had a “great conversation.”
“Then all of my subsequent requests we heard nothing,” de Blasio said. “We put it all in writing.”
The 58-year-old mayor told Scarborough and co-host Willie Geist that he has not received any response in writing or by phone since his contact with Azar.
“Most important, Willie, you know it too, there are no supplies moving. There’s no military mobilization. We would know, I assure you, if we were receiving supplies. We have not gotten the calls.”
We’re facing the greatest crisis in generations.
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) March 20, 2020
As reported by The New York Times, de Blasio used his MSNBC appearance to claim that New York City has approximately 4,000 cases of coronavirus as of Friday morning. He noted that the current numbers represent roughly 30 percent of the COVID-19 cases in the United States and 70 percent of those in the state of New York.
“We have to take really intense, radical action right away,” he said.
De Blasio also said that the city has run out of basic medical supplies due to the “intense strain” on the hospital system.
“We literally will not have the things we need to save people’s lives,” he said.
According to de Blasio, the city will have “nothing left” in two to three weeks should the federal government fail to provide the city and state with the necessary supplies.
Per The New York Times, the state of New York needs 50,000,000 surgical masks, 15,000 ventilators, and 3,000,000 N95 masks.
Although Trump has pushed governors to purchase their own medical supplies for their respective states, he acknowledged that the federal government was outbidding many. Scarborough took to Twitter Friday morning and claimed that the president could not subcontract the pandemic to the country’s mayors and governors.