As the current global health crisis continues to worsen in the United States, a shortage of crucial ventilators to help treat the respiratory virus is growing more and more threatening.
President Donald Trump's administration has largely left states on their own in terms of obtaining them. Without the federal government to oversee their distribution, bidding wars have broken out between states. Trump has also expressed reluctance to invoke the Defense Production Act, which would allow him to mobilize private companies to begin manufacturing them.
When asked how the Trump administration intends to counteract this shortage, Trump's director of trade and manufacturing—Peter Navarro—blamed the Obama administration.
Navarro said to CNN's Brianna Keilar:
"Let me bring you up on the history here of what we inherited. In '09 when the Biden, Obama administration had the H1N1 flu crisis..."
Keilar interrupted in an attempt to get the conversation back on track:
"Peter, why are you wasting your time on this and not solving the problem that you have? Peter, why are you even talking about this?...I'm asking you if you're going to be able to get to a million ventilators."
Navarro didn't give a straightforward answer the question.
He later attempted to blame China for the "bad hand" it supposedly dealt the U.S., at which point, Keilar ended the interview, describing it as a "waste of time."
People admired Keilar for cutting him off as he introduced irrelevancies.
Navarro, on the other hand, was heavily criticized for his attempts at evasion.
New reporting shows that President Donald Trump's administration prepared a 69 page playbook for pandemic preparedness, along with presentations during the transition.
Doesn't look like those were put to much use.