Harris: Trump Not Using Defense Production Act Is an ‘Abject Failure of Leadership’

Thursday on MSNBC, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) said it was an “abject failure of leadership” given that President Donald Trump resisted calls to enact the Defense Production Act to get the federal government involved in the production of medical supplies for the heightened demand during the coronavirus outbreak.

Host Stephanie Ruhle asked, “What is the rationale behind the president not enacting this which would force production?”

Harris said, “I’ve been asking the same question, and I don’t understand it, and when confronted with it, he tells Schumer, our Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on the telephone, hey, activate it, and then the next day he’s saying, I’m not Venezuela. I’m not going to take over as a socialist government. I don’t think he gets it. I don’t think he gets it. Perhaps this is one of those moments where he doesn’t fully understand the role, the responsibility and power of the president of the United States to do good for the people.”

She continued, “This is a national crisis. Let’s be very clear. The government has three essential functions, and one of them is public health. This is that moment that we have seen them, elected leaders in local government and state government rise to this moment, mayors around the country, governors around the country, rising to this moment. But unfortunately, we have someone in the White House who I don’t think understands the core and essential functions of government. I don’t think he respects those core and essential functions of government to understand what he should be unlocking and, in this case, to require and encourage and incentivize domestic production of the health resources like masks and ventilators that will save American lives. I don’t understand it.”

She added, “I don’t get it. I think it’s an abject failure of leadership.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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