In January, President Trump was briefed by his own intelligence officials on the potential widespread threat of coronavirus should it catalyze within U.S. borders, and instead of taking immediate action to prevent the potential pandemic, the president continued to deny its very existence.
Now Michigan is feeling the pain.
On March 27, Michigan reported a surge of COVID-19 cases, bringing the state to a total of 2,856 infected individuals and 60 deaths. And as the U.S. economy continues to crater, Michigan has seen its unemployment rates skyrocket, with nearly 129,298 Michiganders applying for unemployment, over a 2,300% percent increase from the previous week.
As the president toys with the idea of opening the country by Easter and inexplicably still delayed activation of the Defense Production Act, which would have sped up production of desperately-needed medical equipment, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has stepped in during the absence of his leadership, demanding more ventilators and masks be manufactured to save the lives of the critically ill – even going as far to request a federal disaster aid from President Trump.
In response to that request, Trump appeared on Sean Hannity’s show to complain about Governor Whitmar and the request. Trump said, “we’ve had a big problem with the young – a woman governor from…from Michigan.” In a long-winded interview, Trump continued to complain about the reception his oftentimes uneven response has received.
According to a Detroit News report, the federal government lost over 225,000 surgical masks that were promised to the state. The equipment was intended for frontline health care workers, nurses and doctors treating COVID-19 patients.
This costly error comes as Michigan faces a critical mask shortage that later caused nurses to become potentially symptomatic of COVID-19 – Trump was deriding statewide officials like Whitmer for asking for more masks, per reporting from the Detroit Free Press.
With Trump failing to act and bungling the existing response, Gov. Whitmer has called on manufacturing companies and organizations throughout Michigan to obtain ventilators and manufacture millions of protective masks to help the citizens and health care workers of her state.
Gov. Whitmer called Trump’s refusal to aid individual states with critical supplies like masks and ventilators “mind-boggling.”
As the crisis continues to infect larger swaths of Americans by the day, it looks like it is up to local officials like Gov. Whitmer to steer their states out of this crisis in the absence of federal leadership from the Trump White House.