Michigan Gov. Whitmer on Coronavirus: Trump Admin Has Been Too Slow, It’s ‘Mind-Boggling’

Tuesday on MSNBC, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) criticized the coronavirus outbreak response of President Donald Trump’s administration.

On closing restaurants and bars, Whitmer said, “In order to flatten the curve, we need to be aggressive on the front end. The federal government did not take this seriously early enough, and now it is on us to make sure we’re doing everything we can based on the best facts and science available and that we are always putting the health of our people front and center. It was a tough decision to make, but we know the spread of this virus is dependent on close proximity. This is one of many steps we’re taking in the state of Michigan.”

Host Stephanie Ruhle asked, “Yesterday, The New York Times reported that the president told a group of governors, ‘Don’t wait for the federal government to get respirators and ventilators. Get them for yourself,’ What’s the reaction to that? it’s much different than the federal response during the Ebola.”

Whitmer said, “This has to be all hands on deck. Cutting red tape, moving as quickly as we possibly can, and being aggressive and smart about our reaction. And so to hear the leader of the federal government tell us to work around the federal government because it’s too slow is just —it’s kind of mind-boggling, to be honest. We are pulling out all the stops in Michigan. Businesses here in Michigan that are redoubling their efforts to make sure that we’re able to access all of the kinds of equipment that we need, but we need the federal government to work. We need respirators and ventilators and personal protection equipment. We need more test kits and the resources to process those test kits in a quick, expedited manner.”

Ruhle asked, “Can you get them? Can you get them without federal support?”

Whitmer responded, “No, no. We need federal support. Like I said, we’re pulling out all of the stops and reaching out to our partners in the private sector and we’re going to do everything we can to supplement but it’s not to the exclusion of federal support. We need the federal government to ramp up and get this done.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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