Donald Trump told governors Monday that they should not wait for the federal government to find hospital ventilators that will be needed for the coronavirus surge, that they should find their own.
Later, at a press conference, Trump said he was allowing states to act more quickly by seeking their own sources rather than delaying them by a federal bureaucracy. It is exactly the kind of mixed messages that governors like Andrew Cuomo of New York and Jay Inslee of Washington State have been decrying.
The number of “surplus” federal ventilators is estimated to be about 30,000 for a projected virus population that could reach millions. In Italy, hospital officials have been triaging patient access to ventilators by age.
“Respirators, ventilators, all of the equipment — try getting it yourselves,” Trump was heard to tell governors in a recording of the call. “We will be backing you, but try getting it yourselves. Point of sales, much better, much more direct if you can get it yourself.”
The US isn’t in a second wave of coronavirus – the first wave never ended
After sustained declines in the number of COVID-19 cases over recent months, restrictions are starting to ease across the United States. Numbers of new cases are falling or stable at low numbers in some states, but they are surging in many others. Overall, the U.S. is experiencing a sharp increase in the number of new cases a day, and by late June, had surpassed the peak rate of spread in early April.
There’s a hidden economic trendline that is shattering the global trade system
Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers has recently conceded: “In general, economic thinking has privileged efficiency over resilience, and it has been insufficiently concerned with the big downsides of efficiency.” Policy across the globe is therefore moving in a more overtly nationalistic direction to rectify this shortcoming.
COVID-19 has accelerated a process that was well underway before it, spreading beyond U.S.-China-EU trade negotiations and into the world’s 50 largest economies. As much as many defenders of the old order lament this trend, it is as significant a shift as the dawn of the World Trade Organization (WTO) global trade era.
What happens when Trump stops believing he can win reelection?
If President Trump seems resigned to losing November’s election, he has good reason. The strategy he is pursuing—and it’s generous to call it a strategy—is premised on the idea that he is going to lose. His own advisers acknowledge that there are very few people who can be persuaded to vote for him, and his aim therefore is to do whatever he can to hold his strong supporters while reducing the overall level of turnout.