KEY POINTS

  • Governors are spearheading the national fight against COVID-19
  • Cuomo says Trump is making it difficult for governors to get the medical supplies by having them compete against each other for supplies
  • Trump has invoked the Defense Production Act but has not ordered any company to mass produce vital medical supplies

Governors -- especially Democrats -- are spearheading the United States' fight against the COVID-19 menace amid president Donald Trump's refusal to lead the national battle while uniting the country in this existential struggle.

Four Democrat governors and one Democrat mayor are the face of the battle against COVID-19 and Trump has an axe to grind against all of them: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and New York City mayor Bill de Blasio. New York, California and Washington are the states hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

New York State has 15,600 confirmed cases of the coronavirus out of the U.S. total of 32,717 cases as of Sunday, according to Johns Hopkins University. It accounts for an incredible 48% of all COVID-19 cases in the country.

New York confirmed its first case of COVID-19 only on March 1. As of March 22, there are 15,600 confirmed cases in the state, and of these, 76 have died. California has 1,500 cases and 30 deaths. Washington has 1,997 cases and 95 deaths. Washington's death toll is the largest among all 50 U.S. states.

Trump reignited his feud with Democrats Sunday by assailing Pritzker after the former spoke to media about his frustrations with Trump's haphazard response to the crisis. Pritzker blamed Trump for the inadequate response by his administration that's forced states assailed by COVID-19 to compete for resources. Pritzker said what should be taking place now “should have been a coordinated effort by the federal government."

A ticked-off Trump then tweeted: "@JBPritzker, Governor of Illinois, and a very small group of certain other Governors, together with Fake News @CNN & Concast (MSDNC), shouldn’t be blaming the Federal Government for their own shortcomings. We are there to back you up should you fail, and always will be!"

Pritzker immediately counterattacked, blasting Trump in a tweet that said: "You wasted precious months when you could've taken action to protect Americans & Illinoisans. You should be leading a national response instead of throwing tantrums from the back seat. Where were the tests when we needed them? Where's the PPE? Get off Twitter & do your job."

Trump's spat with Cuomo is even worse. The two got into a harsh Twitter war of words on March 16, which began when Trump tweeted Cuomo has to "do more" to fight CVOID-19.

Cuomo retaliated with his own tweet: “I have to do more? No -- YOU have to do something! You’re supposed to be the President.”

Now, Cuomo (like Pritzker) is attacking Trump for encouraging states to compete against each other as they buy desperately needed ventilators, facemasks, gloves and personal protective equipment (PPE) for doctors and other healthcare workers. This intense competition has led some mdeical equipment manufacturers to boost their prices astronomically.

“If we don’t get the equipment, we could lose lives that we could otherwise save,” said Cuomo. “They need these materials now, and only the federal government can make that happen.”

Andrew Cuomo
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said a new bill banning Pokemon Go for sex offenders was necessary to protect the safety of children in New York. Getty Images

Like Pritzker and other governors, Cuomo has also urged Trump to invoke the Defense Production Act and "order companies to make gowns, masks and gloves." Trump did so on March 20, saying he has put that “in gear.”

De Blasio has been harsher in his criticisms of Trump as his city accounts for about a third of all confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S.

De Blasio said if Trump doesn't do something soon, it will cost people their lives. He also said Trump's inaction is hindering the city's ability to treat its large numbers of patients.

“The truth is," de Blasio said. "It’s only getting worse.”

De Blasio can't understand why Trump refuses to help New York City.

“The president of the United States is from New York City and he will not lift a finger to help his hometown. I don’t get it.”

Trump's refusal to assist New York will have consequences.

“If the president doesn’t act, people will die who could have lived otherwise," said de Blasio.

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