With the coronavirus pandemic ravaging the U.S., putting a strain on the health care system and threatening to cause a major economic downfall, the federal government is struggling to keep things under control. The pressure appears to be growing as fast as the number of confirmed infections.
Governors, mayors, and local leaders across the country are growing increasingly frustrated with how President Donald Trump is handling the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new report from The Hill. According to the report, governors are pushing the president to take more aggressive measures before it’s too late.
Notably, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has used his daily press briefings to put pressure on Trump, urging him to order companies to manufacture necessary medical supplies by activating the Defense Production Act.
“States all across the country can’t handle it. Certainly, the states that are dealing with the highest caseload can’t handle it,” he said on Sunday.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker echoed Cuomo, pointing out that the shortage of resources has forced states to compete with each other on the open market for personal protection equipment.
“It’s a wild, wild West out there, and indeed [we’re] overpaying for PPE because of that competition,” he told CNN this week.
Agreeing that the federal government needs to move faster, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, suggested that governors and states need to move forward and work together in order to combat the crisis.
“Failures were made and things that should have happened sooner, but I just want to focus on where we go from here because our job is to save the citizens,” he said.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was more aggressive in her criticism, arguing that the federal government should have been much better prepared for the pandemic.
“Lives will be lost because we weren’t prepared,” she said, adding that the economy will also suffer because of the Trump administration’s inaction.
“Our economy will struggle longer because we didn’t take this seriously as early enough as a country,” Whitmer said.
Some governors have turned to the private sector for help. Notably, California Gov. Gavin Newsom has enlisted billionaire Elon Musk and Apple CEO Tim Cook to help fight the pandemic. Musk is working to produce ventilators, and he has vowed to produce 250,000 masks. Apple has promised to provide 1 million masks.
Other prominent businesses and industry leaders based in California have also vowed to help, with Bloom Energy CEO KR Sridhar providing additional ventilators, necessary for patients with severe symptoms.