Donald Trump says US governors should be 'appreciative' to him as cases surge past 100,000
28 March 2020, 00:42
President Donald Trump has said state governors should be "appreciative" of him and his efforts to stem the spread of coronavirus, as infections rose above the 100,000 mark.
Speaking at the daily White House Press briefing, Mr Trump said: "I think they should be appreciative.
"When they're not appreciative to me. They are not appreciative to the army corps. They are not appreciative to FEMA. It's not right."
His comments came as the US became the nation to have the highest number of confirmed Covid-19 infections, and has so far suffered over 1,500 deaths.
The nation's governors have been pleading with Mr Trump to do more to tackle the escalating crisis, as the World Health Organisation warned the virus was "accelerating" across the globe.
Mr Trump mentioned Washington Governor Jay Inslee and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who have both complained they are not getting sufficient funding or supplies from the federal government as they try to bring the infections under control.
He said that he told Vice President Mike Pence - who is leading the Coronavirus task force - not to bother calling those governors.
The President said: "He calls all the governors. I tell him, I mean, I'm a different type of person. I say Mike, don't call the governor of Washington.
"You are wasting your time with him. Don't call the woman in Michigan, it doesn't make any difference what happens."
Earlier on Friday, Mr Trump signed an order for General Motors to prioritise the production of ventilators under the Defense Production Act.
This comes a month after the President the US was "close to zero" infections. He has increasingly started to attempt to pin the blame on state and local leaders, claiming he and his executive are doing a "hell of a job".
During Friday's press conference, Mr Trump also personally attacked the politicians, who are both Democrats, mentioning Mr Inslee's failed Presidential bid.
'I think we have done a great job in the state of Washington. I think the governor is a failed presidential candidate as you know. He leveled out at zero in the polls, Mr Trump said.
"He is constantly tripping and I guess complaining would be a nice way of saying it. We are building hospitals. We have done a great job for the state of Washington,' Trump said.
I’m not going to let personal attacks from the president distract me from what matters: beating this virus and keeping Washingtonians healthy.— Governor Jay Inslee (@GovInslee) March 28, 2020
Of Whitmer, he said: "She has no idea what's going on and all she does is say oh, it's the federal government's fault. And we have taken such great care of Michigan."
Following Mr Trump's remarks, Gov. Whitmer tweeted she was willing to work with anyone to ensure the people in her state had what they needed.
She said: "Right now, we all need to be focused on fighting the virus, not each other. I'm willing to work with anyone as long as we get the personal protective equipment we need for the people of Michigan."
And Governor Jay Inslee said: "I’m not going to let personal attacks from the president distract me from what matters: beating this virus and keeping Washingtonians healthy."