President Trump has said the White House is ‘starting the process’ of helping New York increase its hospital bed capacity amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump announced that the federal government is beginning the process of increasing the hospital bed capacity in New York, during a White House press conference held on Tuesday.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo had called on the government for support again this morning as the state has increasingly taken emergency measures to slow the spread of the virus after it has fast become a hotspot for the disease.
Trump said the government is poised to step in and is ‘looking at a few different sites’ in New York.
The president even reaped praise on Cuomo’s handling of the crisis, just hours after he slammed the governor on Twitter in a rant where he warned him to ‘keep politics out of’ it.
President Trump has said the White House is ‘starting the process’ of helping New York increase its hospital capacity
At Tuesday’s press conference, when asked whether the government will act on the governor’s requests and deploy the Army Corp. of Engineers to build field hospitals in the state, Trump responded: ‘We’re starting the process.’
The president said the government has the equipment to step in all ready for his go-ahead and is ‘looking at a few different sites’ in New York.
‘We think we can have quite a few units up very rapidly,’ he added.
The president even went as far as to praise Cuomo’s response to the crisis in New York, saying ‘we’re both doing a really good job’, after having slammed the governor on Twitter just hours earlier.
‘I can say with respect to Governor Cuomo, we had a great talk this morning. We’re both doing a really good job and we’re coordinating it and we agree that different states need different things and we agree on that 100 percent,’ he said.
‘But we had a very good talk and I think we’re right down the same track and it’s going to be very successful.
‘New York has a pretty big problem, I guess it would be the number one hotspot,’ he continued.
‘It’s no fault of anybody’s. It’s just the way it is but we’re working very closely together. We’re also getting FEMA very much involved. They’ve been involved but now we’re getting them to a different level and we have everything ready.
‘We’re dealing with the Army Corp. of Engineers should that be necessary – that’s them working in some cases and on standby in some cases. But the conversation with Andrew Cuomo was a very productive one and a very good one and I appreciate that.’
The president’s comments seemed to walk back on his earlier criticism of Cuomo’s handling of the pandemic.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called on the government for support again this morning after the state has increasingly sought to take emergency measures to slow the spread of the virus after it has fast become a hotspot for the disease
At a press conference Tuesday morning ahead of Trump’s, Cuomo said he was not considering a state-wide quarantine but stopped short of taking it off the table
The president blasted Cuomo on Twitter Tuesday morning, demanding the governor ‘keep politics out of’ the government response to the pandemic.
‘Cuomo wants ‘all states to be treated the same.’ But all states aren’t the same,’ the president said in a Twitter rant.
‘Some are being hit hard by the Chinese Virus, some are being hit practically not at all. New York is a very big ‘hotspot’, West Virginia has, thus far, zero cases.’
‘Andrew, keep politics out of it….’ Trump continued.
In the rant, he also took aim at Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer – a name that has been floated as a running mate for former Vice President Joe Biden – claiming she hasn’t had an adequate response to the outbreak.
‘Failing Michigan Governor must work harder and be much more proactive,’ Trump tweeted. ‘We are pushing her to get the job done. I stand with Michigan!’
Trump claimed he is working well with the states and their governors and predicted that ‘good things will happen.’
‘Federal Government is working very well with the Governors and State officials,’ he posted in another tweet Tuesday morning.
‘Good things will happen! #KILLTHEVIRUS’
Trump at the press conference where, when asked whether the government will act on the governor’s requests and deploy the Army Corp. of Engineers to build field hospitals in New York state, he replied: ‘We’re starting the process’
Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health Dr. Anthony Fauci also spoke at the press conference where Trump seemed to backtrack on his criticism of Cuomo and said the government is ‘looking at a few different sites’ in New York to deploy hospital facilities
Trump’s attack came a day after he spoke with US governors to discuss the federal government response to help states deal with the increasing cases.
Cuomo has repeatedly warned that if the number of cases in New York continue to rise at the current rate, the state will run out of hospital beds to be able to care for the infected.
His pleas to the president had so far fallen on deaf ears after he previously urged the White House to send in military support in an op/ed for the New York Times published Sunday.
In it he warned that the US had never before seen a pandemic on this level and called on the president to activate the Army Corps of Engineers to increase hospital capacity.
The president blasted Cuomo on Twitter Tuesday morning (above), demanding the governor ‘keep politics out of’ the government response to the pandemic
Trump also slammed the Michigan governor and went on to claim he is working well with the states and their governors and predicted that ‘good things will happen’
‘There is now only one question your team must answer for you: Can we slow the spread of the disease to a rate that our state health care systems can handle? The answer increasingly looks like no. But that does not mean we should not try,’ he wrote.
In a press conference Tuesday ahead of Trump’s, Cuomo said he was not considering a state-wide quarantine but that it was not off the table as he issued a grave new statistic: 19 percent of the people who already have coronavirus have been hospitalized in New York.
‘I have no interest whatsoever and no plan whatsoever to contain any city,’ he said.
However during questions about other cities quarantining, he said: ‘I am resistant to nothing.’
The governor also announced that the state would be taking the desperate step to open Drive-Thru testing facilities across Nassau County, Suffolk County, Staten Island, and Rockland County, with the Nassau County facility opening Tuesday.