FEMA Administrator Peter Gaynor told Jake Tapper this morning that the Trump administration has not used the Defense Production Act to gear up for the onslaught of needs during this public health crisis, a claim that was met with a scathing statement from Joe Biden.
"It really is leverage, I think that to demonstrate that we can use it, the president can use it any time," Gaynor told Jake Tapper.
And then he launched into a praise song about 'how great America is."
"All these companies are coming up asking us what they can do to help," he gushed. "And we haven't had to use it, because companies around the country, donations, they are saying, what can we do to help you? And it's happening without using that -- that lever."
Meanwhile, New York is paying 7 dollars per mask for health care workers when they're normally about 94 cents. So very great.
Joe Biden saw those comments and shot out a statement absolutely ripping this administration for constantly leading from behind.
"And now a tragic and inescapable truth is clear: even though the senior-most medical and intelligence experts in the United States government were sounding the alarm about coronavirus for months, President Trump neglected, minimized, and lied about this virus," Biden wrote. "He failed to expeditiously get us enough tests, respirators, ventilators and other vital equipment when his peers in other countries did their duty and stood up for their people. He ignored my warning not to take China’s word about their containment of the virus, too."
Turning to Gaynor's comments, he continued, "[Trump] is still failing, even this morning: despite telling the American people that he was using the Defense Production Act to bring the full force of our government to protect our doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals and get them the devices that they need to save Americans in hospitals who are literally struggling to breathe, his lead emergency management official says it is not true. Hospitals, mayors, and governors are forced to fend for themselves to secure the gear and equipment they need. As one governor put it, 'it’s a wild west' out there."
And here's the punch line:
"Mr. President, stop lying and start acting. Use the full extent of your authorities, now, to ensure that we are producing all essential goods and delivering them where they need to go."
"President Trump’s dithering on preparing us for this global pandemic and his lies about his response to this dangerous crisis is one of the most unjustifiable failures of presidential leadership in American history."
Let's repeat that and repeat it and repeat it. ONE OF THE MOST UNJUSTIFIABLE FAILURES OF PRESIDENTIAL LEADERSHIP IN AMERICAN HISTORY.
You betcha, Joe Biden.
For those who prefer their written statements about Trump's failure of leadership in video form, there's this:
Donald Trump has failed the American people. pic.twitter.com/HsNl9M4h4r
— Joe Biden (Text Join to 30330) (@JoeBiden) March 21, 2020