LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:
This weekend, extra blended messages and confusion from the White Home. President Trump despatched the leaders and residents of three states scrambling to know what it will imply in the event that they have been underneath federal quarantine. That lasted for just a few hours till the CDC issued a nonbinding journey advisory for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to be carried out by the governors of these states. And that is been a theme of the coronavirus disaster, the president passing the buck to governors. Right here he’s on the White Home on Friday.
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PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: The governors have been very gracious for essentially the most half, I might say – a pair that are not appreciative of the unbelievable job. They need to do a greater job themselves. That is a part of the issue.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: NPR nationwide political correspondent Mara Liasson is right here to speak about all this. Good morning.
MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Good morning.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: So be appreciative. It is a rare message to impart in the course of a pandemic. What’s the remainder of the message in regards to the division of labor between states and the federal authorities?
LIASSON: Properly, the president’s message to states has been contradictory. He says he is a wartime president, which means that he’ll use all types of extraordinary powers that the federal authorities has to mobilize the nation to struggle the virus. However, typically, he feels like he is main from behind. He is instructed the states, quote, “The federal authorities just isn’t a transport clerk.” He has mentioned that – to the governors on Twitter, quote, “We’re there to again you up do you have to fail.” And when governors have requested or mayors have requested for provides like ventilators, he is dismissed these claims and say they – say, for example, that New York does not really want all of the ventilators it is asking for. And he is been reluctant to really use the Protection Manufacturing Act. He mentioned it will be like nationalizing industries, flip the U.S. into Venezuela. However as consultants inform us – that the act is supposed to allocate sources and keep away from bottlenecks, not have the federal authorities take over the technique of manufacturing.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: I need to play one other clip from Friday’s Job Drive briefing. The president is speaking about Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer.
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TRUMP: Michigan – all she does is – she has no concept what is going on on. And all she does is say, oh, it is the federal authorities’s fault. And we have taken such nice care of Michigan.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: What’s that about?
LIASSON: Properly, he has lashed out at governors he feels have criticized him, notably the governor of Washington state. He is known as him a snake. Now the governor of Michigan, who he typically refers to as that girl from Michigan – he is provide you with a demeaning nickname for her. Her identify is Gretchen Whitmer. He has known as her Gretchen Halfwitmer.
However the president’s assaults, in response to Governor Whitmer, are literally hurting her potential to purchase tools. She claims that distributors with whom Michigan had contracts are being instructed to not ship provides to Michigan. She mentioned she’s reached out to speak to the president, requested for a telephone name. However he has mentioned that if governors do not deal with him proper, he will not name them. And he mentioned he instructed the vice chairman, quote, “Do not name the lady in Michigan.”
So is he simply lashing out at his critics, or is that this a technique to get able to make the argument that no matter goes mistaken – tools, shortages, deaths, financial ache – is the fault of the Democratic governors, not him?
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Let’s speak just a little bit extra in regards to the Protection Manufacturing Act. The president’s been pushed to make use of it to make sure an enough provide of medical tools. Friday, he mentioned he had however then that he could pull it again. It’s totally complicated.
LIASSON: Very complicated. However what we do know is that, lastly, the federal authorities says it’s contracting with producers to begin making ventilators like GM, for example. However these ventilators won’t be obtainable till later subsequent month or early Might.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All proper, and I simply need to flip to, briefly, the election as a result of there’s one. There is a former vice chairman in Delaware who’s angling to inherit all this.
LIASSON: He’s. And, you realize, the president is in a field. It does not actually matter what Joe Biden does proper now. However the president needs to run reelection on an excellent financial system and a roaring inventory market and low unemployment. However he cannot remedy the financial drawback till he solves the virus drawback. And sure, in case you’re a actuality TV producer, you need the sequence finale to be, quote, “packed pews on Easter Sunday.” However first, if – you need to fear about opening the financial system up too quickly as a result of if folks get sick and die, that hurts the financial system, and that hurts President Trump’s reelection probabilities, too.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: That is NPR nationwide…
LIASSON: So keep tuned for tomorrow. New tips coming.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: That is NPR nationwide political correspondent Mara Liasson. Mara, thanks a lot.
LIASSON: Thanks. Transcript offered by NPR, Copyright NPR.