Trump to governors who fear shortage of hospital equipment: ‘Try getting it yourselves’

Trump to governors who fear shortage of hospital equipment: ‘Try getting it yourselves’
President Donald J. Trump addresses the nation from the Oval Office of the White House Wednesday evening, March 11, 2020, on the country’s expanded response against the global Coronavirus outbreak. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

In Italy, where the number of deaths from the coronavirus pandemic has passed 1800 (according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore), hospitals have been absolutely overwhelmed — and American health officials fear that U.S. hospitals could be facing a similar situation in the weeks to come. During a conference call with President Donald Trump morning, the New York Times reports, a group of governors voiced their concerns that U.S. hospitals might not have enough respirators or ventilators for all the coronavirus patients they could be inundated with. And the president’s response was that they should “try getting it yourselves” rather than relying on the federal government.


The Times has obtained a recording of that conversation. In the recording, Trump told the governors, “Respirators, ventilators, all of the equipment — trying getting it yourselves. We will be backing you, but try getting it yourselves. Point of sales, much better — much more direct if you can try getting it yourselves.”

During the conversation, Trump also told the governors, “We’re going to get it remedied, and hopefully, very quickly.”

On Twitter, Ronald Klain (former chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden in President Barack Obama’s administration), tweeted, “We had entire teams of people at HHS / DHS / WH working on supply chain coordination during Ebola: to make sure that the needed supplies were going to the right places (where they were needed the most). This 👇 is a horrible, horrible approach.”

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