SCOTT SIMON, HOST:
First COVID-19 fatality in the US was introduced on February 29, when 22 instances have been confirmed within the nation. Twenty-eight days later, we have now over 1,700 deaths and over 100,000 instances confirmed, because the White Home response to this ongoing disaster has been extra political than pragmatic. NPR senior editor and correspondent Ron Elving joins us. Ron, thanks for being with us.
RON ELVING, BYLINE: Good to be with you, Scott.
SIMON: The president has repeatedly accused the Obama administration of being lax about planning for a pandemic, stated he needed to repair a damaged well being care system. Throughout Thursday’s briefing, he stated he needed to take over an empty shelf for medical provides. Persons are dying. It is a severe cost. Do any information assist the president’s cost?
ELVING: Scott, you are not listening to these fees from the well being professionals across the president. They arrive when the president begins freelancing on Twitter or in a briefing. And if there was one thing lacking when Trump got here to energy – that was, after all, over three years in the past. What we do know is that there was an in depth plan, virtually 70 pages, ready by a particular workplace throughout the Nationwide Safety Council within the White Home and turned over to the Trump administration. In 2018, virtually two years in the past, that workplace was primarily disbanded, and that plan was primarily discarded. So these are the information. These are the issues that we do know.
And we do know additionally that there have been assessments supplied to the Trump administration by the World Well being Group. These have been refused. And in each instances, after all, the Trump individuals have been saying that they had one thing higher to place as a substitute.
SIMON: And I’ve to ask, is there a distinction between how responsive the president has been, or supportive, to governors from predominantly Republican states than Democratic states?
ELVING: There do appear to be two sorts of response – one for states with only a few instances, usually pink states which are much less densely populated, and one other for states with closely Democratic, dense metro areas. We should always say the president does appear involved about New York and New Jersey. And he needs to be seen as efficient in opposition to the virus basically nationwide. However he has additionally gone to conflict with a number of of the massive state Democratic governors who’ve been pointing to the dearth of ventilators and different issues.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I say, Mike, do not name the governor of Washington. You are losing your time with him. Do not name the girl in Michigan. It does not make any distinction what occurs…
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: The governor of Washington…
TRUMP: No. You understand what I say? If they do not deal with you proper, I do not name.
ELVING: So that’s what I’d describe as going to conflict with a few of the blue-state governors. And he has additionally referred to as the governor of Washington state, Jay Inslee, a snake.
SIMON: After all, we all know New York has been particularly hard-hit. Governor Andrew Cuomo has been entrance and middle day after day. Has he immediately turn out to be the face and voice of nationwide Democratic leaderships?
ELVING: Sure, to a point. As governor of an enormous state and a state that is a media hub and, as you say, so hard-hit, Governor Cuomo is a pure level man to steer the decision for larger provides and to steer Democratic governors of their critique of the president. However he’s not himself a candidate for president simply now and will not be until one thing occurs to Joe Biden.
SIMON: Bernie Sanders remains to be operating for the Democratic nomination for president, says he needs to take part within the subsequent debate. What impact does his – if he nonetheless runs, what impact does his candidacy even have now?
ELVING: His impact is on the dialog about points and coverage and the disaster, And we are able to see lots of Sanders’ considering within the massive reduction invoice Congress simply handed – $2 trillion.
However as for the nomination, he’s down and fading. Wisconsin votes in 10 days. They nonetheless plan to go forward on April 7. That was considered one of Bernie Sanders’ greatest states 4 years in the past. So he must win Wisconsin to remain within the race this 12 months. He was forward in Wisconsin when there was an enormous discipline of candidates, however that massive discipline now appears to have largely consolidated to Joe Biden. And on the final polling, I noticed Bernie Sanders was dropping to Biden badly.
SIMON: NPR senior editor and correspondent Ron Elving, thanks a lot for being with us.
ELVING: Thanks, Scott. Transcript supplied by NPR, Copyright NPR.