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President Trump hammered two Democratic governors Thursday night after they criticized the federal government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The first line of attack is supposed to be the hospitals and the local government and the states — the states themselves,” Trump said in a wide-ranging interview on Fox News’ “Hannity“. “We have people like [Washington state] Governor [Jay] Inslee — he should be doing more.”
Trump went on to mock Inslee as a “failed  presidential candidate” who is “always complaining.”
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The Associated Press reported Thursday that Inslee implored Trump on a private conference call with governors from both parties to use executive authority to ramp up production of necessary medical equipment. But Trump said the federal government is merely the “backup.”
“I don’t want you to be the backup quarterback, we need you to be Tom Brady here,” Inslee reportedly replied, invoking the football star and Trump friend.
The president also criticized Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, telling host Sean Hannity “she’s not stepping up.”
“I don’t know if she knows what’s going on but all she does is sit there and blame the federal government,” Trump said. “She doesn’t get it done and we send her a lot. Now she wants a declaration of emergency and we have to make a decision on that. But Michigan is a very important state.”
Earlier this week, Whitmer demanded “clear directive and guidance from the federal government.”
“Frankly, a patchwork strategy of each state doing what they can, we’re going to do it if we need to, but it would be nice to have a national strategy,” she said, according to M-Live.
Whitmer claimed that if the administration had focused on the pandemic earlier, Michigan and the U.S. would “be in a stronger position right now.”
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“Lives will be lost because we weren’t prepared,” she said.
Trump did praise another Democratic governor, Andrew Cuomo of New York, saying the two have had constructive talks and correspondence in the past few weeks.
The president also dismissed criticism from his potential 2020 opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, who called Trump racist earlier this year after the president issued an order halting the entry of foriegn nationals into the U.S. from China.
“I had Biden calling me xenophobic — yet he can’t define the word,” Trump said, joking that Biden called the H1N1 epidemic during the Obama-Biden administration the “N1H1” plague.