It Sure Sounded Like Donald Trump Issued U.S. Governors a Quid Pro Quo If They Want Federal Pandemic Assistance

Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Since his attempts to use congressionally approved military aid to pressure Ukraine's government into announcing an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden, quid pro quos have become synonymous with Donald Trump's presidency.

Just last month, the President appeared to tweet a quid pro quo aimed at New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, pressuring him to drop investigations into the Trump family in exchange for the reinstatement of travel programs.

Trump's latest quid pro quo occurred on Tuesday amid a pandemic that's upended daily life in the United States. This time, it was aimed at the governors of every state.

Watch below.

When speaking about the federal government assisting states in the face of a pandemic, Trump said:

"I think we're doing very well, but it's a two way street, they have to treat us well also. They can't say, 'Oh gee, we should get this we should get that.'"

Trump went on to criticize states like New York for pressuring him to help alleviate its shortage of crucial ventilators to combat the respiratory virus.

Since the pandemic became widespread, Trump has been at odds with governors across the country, urging them to take state measures to curb its spread, relying on the federal government only as a backup.

As a result, bidding wars over medical equipment have emerged between states. Instead of using federal powers to oversee the distribution, Trump has attacked governors on Twitter repeatedly.

Trump's pettiness in the face of a pandemic made this latest quid pro quo all the more exhausting.

The similarities between Trump's latest quid pro quo and the one offered to Ukraine which spurred his impeachment didn't escape anyone.

House impeachment manager Adam Schiff (D-CA) warned lawmakers during Trump's Senate trial that if he was willing to extort Ukraine, he'd be willing to extort states and governors as well.

At a chilling time in the United States, it appears that prediction is coming home to roost.

ABC News

As more information becomes available regarding the virus that's caused a public health crisis in the United States, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have urged Americans in hard-hit areas to begin wearing cloth masks to cover their faces.

Unlike medical professionals, who need N95 masks (of which there is a shortage) when treating virus patients, average Americans can wear makeshift cloth masks that block the saliva droplets through which the virus is spread.

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Tom Brenner/Getty Images // MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

Given President Donald Trump's propensity for lying and his administration's constant misinformation regarding the current global pandemic, Americans across the country have become selective about which sources they deem as credible in seeking potentially lifesaving information in the face of a national health crisis.

Iowa's Republican governor, Kim Reynolds, is in stark disagreement with most Americans on whom to trust regarding measures designed to curb the virus.

Iowa is one of a few states that still has yet to issue a stay-at-home order to slow the virus's spread. Reynolds has resisted taking the step despite a unanimous recommendation from the Iowa Board of Medicine to do so.

National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) director Dr. Anthony Fauci recently said that all states should institute these orders.

Reynolds's response was...telling.

After calling stay-at-home orders a "divisive issue," the governor said:

"I would say that maybe [Fauci] doesn't have all the information"

Fauci has quickly become one of the most notable figures in the pandemic's response, and one of the few officials in President Donald Trump's virus task force that Americans widely trust to deliver accurate information. He's been an integral part of curbing health crises from the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States to Avian Flu to H1N1 and more.

If Fauci doesn't have all the information, then the country is—for lack of a better word—completely screwed.

People were appalled at the governor's defense.

It's safe to say that Fauci has more information and experience in these situations than any governor in the nation—including Reynolds.

The death toll in the United States from the virus recently surpassed 6000.

Information saves lives. Ignorance endangers them.

Win McNamee/Getty Images

In the face of the global pandemic that's killed over 5000 Americans, President Donald Trump is still expressing reluctance to employ federal powers to assist states hardest hit by the virus.

Among the most urgent of obstacles some governors are facing is a shortage of crucial medical equipment—including ventilators—often needed to treat the highly contagious respiratory virus.

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Mark Makela/Getty Images

The respiratory virus that's ballooned into a global pandemic and brought daily life in the United States to a halt has carried another chilling side effect with it.

Because the virus originated in Wuhan, China, anti-Chinese hysteria has sprouted up across the country. These racist flames have only been stoked by President Donald Trump, whose insistence on calling it "Chinese virus" corresponded with an uptick in hate crimes and harassment of Asian Americans across the across the United States, regardless of their country of origin or ancestry.

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Samuel Corum/Getty Images // SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

Even in the face of a national health crisis that threatens hundreds of thousands of American lives, President Donald Trump has consistently signaled that he's incapable of rising to the urgency of the moment, choosing instead to pick fights with governors over Twitter and to brag about the ratings of his press briefings.

That string of behavior continued with a letter to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), which read more like one of the President's Twitter screeds than a letter from the President of the United States.

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U.S. Navy

The internet is flooded with messages of support for Navy Captain Brett Crozier, who commands the 5000 person crew of the Roosevelt, an aircraft carrier that was recently forced to dock in Guam.

Crozier sent a letter to the Navy this week begging for additional supplies and resources to aid the 93 people on the Roosevelt who tested positive for the virus that's become a global pandemic, as well as facilities for the additional 1000 people who need to be quarantined.

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