As the national health crisis in the United States continues to worsen, New York has quickly become the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States.
New York City alone has over 20,000 confirmed cases of the virus, and the state's death toll skyrocketed by 110% in just 36 hours this week. The urgency is only exacerbated by a shortage of crucial ventilators to combat the respiratory virus.
Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo warned the federal government that New York needs at least 30,000 ventilators to prepare for the virus's peak. So far, the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) has only sent 400, with assurances from the White House that 4,000 more would be coming.
In a press conference on Tuesday, a visibly frustrated Cuomo said:
"The president says it's a war," the governor said. "Well, then, act like it's a war! You pick the 26,000 people who are going to die because you only sent 400 ventilators."
President Donald Trump didn't seem moved by Cuomo's plea, judging by a Thursday night interview with far-right Fox News host Sean Hannity, in which Trump expressed skepticism that New York really needs that many ventilators.
The President said:
"I have a feeling that a lot of the numbers that are being said for some areas are just bigger than they're going to be. I don't believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators. You know, at a major hospital sometimes they'll have two ventilators. All of a sudden they're saying, 'Can we order 30,000 ventilators?'"
The President's baseless comment about hospitals suddenly needing more ventilators after only having two signaled the way he intends to deflect blame this time.
Vox's Aaron Rupar believed the President would blame blue states for his own failures.
Here's where this thing is headed -- Trump is going to blame blue state officials for coronavirus deaths in their s… https://t.co/pxa4b9p17A— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar) 1585274438.0
Trump is known for his reluctance to take responsibility—usually blaming Democrats, the media, former President Barack Obama, or skeptical Republicans for his shortcomings.
People agreed with Rupar that, even as American lives are threatened, Trump is prioritizing his reelection.
Trump will kill American citizens by the 1000s to try stay president. Not hyperbole. https://t.co/syq70iYWyL— Todd Poirier (@Todd Poirier) 1585281167.0
trump is politicizing the pandemic and using it to punish those states that won’t vote for him and reward those who… https://t.co/fkgmT0a7Gt— Mya (@Mya) 1585276080.0
He’s going to let innocent people die all because they didn’t vote for him. Hell should dedicate a wing to this man. https://t.co/YSgqCpQiBb— Chris Jackson (@Chris Jackson) 1585273939.0
Trump is ensuring the avoidable death of countless New Yorkers by deliberately sitting on 20,000 urgently needed ve… https://t.co/STlN9Wl797— Laurence Tribe (@Laurence Tribe) 1585244581.0
The president politicizes everything even this.... https://t.co/Z8eQzkNZFy— Molly Jong-Fast🏡 (@Molly Jong-Fast🏡) 1585277316.0
People didn't have faith that Trump's skepticism was based in any reality.
Trump doesn’t know what he’s talking about. But he still talks. https://t.co/vvEhwg6fD6— David Corn (@David Corn) 1585274827.0
When people start dying en masse, you can thank Trump, who is not a doctor, for going with his gut and deciding wha… https://t.co/DnhXfXTZvw— Brian Tyler Cohen (@Brian Tyler Cohen) 1585274463.0
It's infuriating to hear daily what we're *supposed* to be doing to support these patients and health care workers,… https://t.co/nTtqbKDfWj— Issa Rae (@Issa Rae) 1585281797.0
Trump has yet to invoke the Defense Production Act, which would compel private manufacturers to begin making necessary equipment, like ventilators.