Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

"In a time when protecting the nation's public health demands clear, truthful, and compassionate leadership," said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, said Friday, "Trump has offered exactly the opposite." (Image: Public Citizen)

"In a time when protecting the nation's public health demands clear, truthful, and compassionate leadership," said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, said Friday, "Trump has offered exactly the opposite." (Image: Public Citizen)

Trump to Governors: 'Try Getting It Yourselves' If You Need Life-Saving Equipment to Fight Coronavirus

"This is what happens when federal government is hollowed out over decades."

Jon Queally

As state and local leaders across U.S. continue to prepare and support their communities as they fight back against the deadly coronavirus outbreak, President Donald Trump told governors during a conference call Monday that if they need more vital medical equipment they might be better off to get it on their own.

"Respirators, ventilators, all of the equipment — try getting it yourselves," Trump told the governors during a phone call, according to a recording of the call obtained by the New York Times. "We will be backing you, but try getting it yourselves. Points of sales, much better, much more direct if you can get it yourself."

As the Times reports:

The suggestion surprised some of the governors, who have been scrambling to contain the outbreak and are increasingly looking to the federal government for help with equipment, personnel and financial aid.

Mr. Trump used much of the call to repeat the same upbeat rhetoric he has offered in public, assuring the governors: "We're going to get it remedied and hopefully very quickly."

The specific comments, in addition to the reporting on Trump's call with the governors overall, received immediate rebuke:

"This is what happens when federal government is hollowed out over decades," tweeted Annie Leonard, executive director of Greenpeace USA, in response.

As the scale of the coronavirus outbreak has intensified over recent weeks, so has anger over the president's handling of the crisis, with Public Citizen last week among those calling for Trump to resign.

"In a time when protecting the nation's public health demands clear, truthful, and compassionate leadership," said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, said Friday, "Trump has offered exactly the opposite."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

'This Is Not Over': Alaska Supreme Court Rejects Youth Climate Case

"With the state continuing to undermine their health, safety, and futures," said the plaintiffs' lead counsel, "we will evaluate our next steps and will continue to fight for climate justice."

Jessica Corbett ·


Analysis Finds 'Staggering' Rise in Voter Suppression After GOP Restrictions in Georgia

"This is why we are fighting this new law in court," said one voting rights advocate.

Brett Wilkins ·


'Egregious': Pennsylvania Court Strikes Down Mail-In Voting Law

The ruling was stayed pending an appeal to the state's Supreme Court and as one voting advocate put it: "The fight's not over yet, folks."

Julia Conley ·


Big Win for Open Internet as Court Upholds California Net Neutrality Law

One legal advocate called the Ninth Circuit's opinion "a great decision and a major victory for internet users in California and nationwide."

Kenny Stancil ·


Poll Shows Majority in US Want Diplomacy, Not War With Russia Over Ukraine

The survey's findings echo the pleas of progressive lawmakers, who assert "there is no military solution" to the crisis involving the world's two foremost nuclear powers.

Brett Wilkins ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo