President Donald Trump's refusal to employ a cohesive federal response to the virus that's killed over 60 thousand Americans is, yet again, creating mixed messages and general confusion.
For weeks, Trump has told governors across the nation to fend for themselves in obtaining vital medical and protective equipment to fight the virus, relying on the federal government only as a backup.
As a result, bidding wars have broken out between states and even the federal government for lifesaving supplies. Some governors have even resorted to concealing the location of supplies for fear of seizure.
Nevertheless, Trump reiterated this stance in a Fox News town hall in which he criticized Washington Democratic Governor Jay Inslee for asking for swabs.
Trump recounted Inslee's request, which he made on a call between the President and governors:
"I was on that call for an hour and a half. I stayed right till the end. And at the end I said does anybody need anything? "We had one governor, Inslee, who's always wanting something. And, frankly, he didn't do a very good job on nursing homes as far as I'm concerned, state of Washington, and he said, we need swabs. I said why don't you get them yourself? But if you can't, we'll get them."
Trump has previously called Inslee a "snake" and a failed presidential candidate, but in a Twitter response, Inslee got the last laugh.
Pres. Trump can't even seem to tell the truth when he's helping. In fact, @HHSGov told me on that call they are s… https://t.co/1c3I1m5rlS— Governor Jay Inslee (@Governor Jay Inslee)1588559573.0
Inslee said that the Department of Health and Human Services stated its intention to provide Washington with the swabs, despite Trump's claims he'd denied them.
Some commended Inslee for taking action on behalf of his state.
Thank you Gov Inslee. You represent us well. https://t.co/xPHarExPWy— Jim (@Jim)1588607313.0
Like Inslee or not, shutting stuff down early probably saved hundreds of lives and kept our hospitals from being ov… https://t.co/ocEQVTg1ZI— Paul Whitcomb (@Paul Whitcomb)1588562648.0
Inslee hopped on Beyonce's internet on a Sunday evening just to tell trump off. This is the content I love https://t.co/2QZM82Sa3j— cancerian queen (@cancerian queen)1588560307.0
I love my Governor! https://t.co/xhdBCXwT8n— Nancy Pahl (@Nancy Pahl)1588566606.0
Trump has routinely picked fights with governors, especially those critical of the federal government's response to the pandemic.
The nation is weaker for the anger Trump's displayed toward them.
1) Trump threatens governors with consequences for their states during pandemic if they don't praise his response.… https://t.co/XxAA0dl7g6— Matthew Gertz (@Matthew Gertz)1588589235.0
Has anyone seen where Trump's revised death estimate of 90,000 comes from? Because if the whole country actually ca… https://t.co/IhhnvT1mxZ— Schooley (@Schooley)1588608358.0
Trump is doing nothing, literally planning for hundreds of thousands of people to die, not doing a thing to stop it… https://t.co/CSFwFNAFbo— Merritt Kelly (@Merritt Kelly)1588608642.0
New polling indicates that governors' responses to the pandemic enjoy more public approval than Trump's response in all 50 states.
For a deeper look into Trump's ineptitude, check out A Very Stable Genius, available here.