“The president knows Florida is so important for his reelection"
President Donald Trump has politicized the federal government's response to the coronavirus pandemic, from how it allocates medical equipment and supplies like PPE, to how it responds to requests from red state governors versus blue state governors – and a White House official is freely admitting it.
The Trump administration is sending red states like Florida – which has helped elect with the winner of every presidential race consistently since 1996 – all the coronavirus personal protective gear (PPE) that it has requested, while blue states which he has no chance of winning – like New York – are getting a fraction of their requests filled.
Trump is strongly supporting Florida's new Republican governor, Ron DeSantis (photo, with Trump), who refused to close his beaches during spring break. That move alone allowed college students to potentially carry the coronavirus back to their friends, families, and dorm mates throughout the nation, fueling the pandemic.
"Officials in Florida have pointed to the close relationship between DeSantis and Trump as a helpful tool in shaping federal policy," The Washington Post reports. "The two speak almost daily. Trump has formed an especially close relationship with DeSantis, a former congressman whose pugilistic defenses of the president helped him secure a race-changing endorsement in his 2018 bid for governor. Trump will probably need the 29 electoral votes of his adopted homestead to win reelection."
The Post suggests it was DeSantis' complaints that fueled Trump's threat this past weekend to quarantine the tri-state area..
I am giving consideration to a QUARANTINE of developing “hot spots”, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. A decis… https://t.co/QJ0UqoU8ph— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1585416718.0
"During a phone call on Saturday, DeSantis complained about people with the coronavirus traveling from New York to Florida. Minutes later, Trump publicly said he was considering a quarantine for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. He ultimately decided against it."
It's not just policy that Trump is helping DeSantis with.
"One White House official said Trump is attuned to the electoral importance of Florida in November, giving added weight to the arguments DeSantis has made to the administration that his state’s economy should reopen as soon as possible."
“The president knows Florida is so important for his reelection so when DeSantis says that, it means a lot,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to be frank. “He pays close attention to what Florida wants.”
"Three days after requesting 430,000 surgical masks, 180,000 N95 respirators and other equipment on March 11, Florida received all of the items," The Post continues. "The state received an additional shipment less than two weeks later. As of late last week, it was awaiting a third shipment."