Yesterday the Trump communications team were at pains to try and point out that Peter Navarro’s op-ed attack on Dr Anthony Fauci in USA Today did not go through their usual clearance channels.
Now, I’m no expert, but I would hazard a guess that the White House did also not get an advance copy of the piece published by the Washington Post this morning from Maryland’s Republican Governor Larry Hogan which is titled “Fighting alone – I’m a GOP governor. Why didn’t Trump help my state with coronavirus testing?”
I’d watched as the president downplayed the outbreak’s severity and as the White House failed to issue public warnings, draw up a 50-state strategy, or dispatch medical gear or lifesaving ventilators from the national stockpile to American hospitals. Eventually, it was clear that waiting around for the president to run the nation’s response was hopeless; if we delayed any longer, we’d be condemning more of our citizens to suffering and death. So every governor went their own way, which is how the United States ended up with such a patchwork response. I did the best I could for Maryland. Here’s what we saw and heard from Washington along the way.
It’s a long piece, and one can read some of it as the words of a man trying to get his side of the story in first, but it contains absolutely devastating criticisms of the Federal response to coronavirus, and of Trump personally. Hogan couldn’t understand how in private Governors where getting briefings about just how serious the pandemic could become, while in public the president was so dismissive of the coming threat.
Hogan comes across as proud that for his state he went and procured medical assistance and testing kits from South Korea. Trump was unimpressed. As Hogan puts it:
I thought we might get a congratulatory word from the president. Trump always had a taste for bold gestures — but, apparently, only for bold gestures he could claim. The president spent much of the following Monday’s White House briefing criticizing me and dismissing what we had done. “The governor from Maryland didn’t really understand” about testing, Trump grumbled. “The governor of Maryland could’ve called Mike Pence, could’ve saved a lot of money. . . . I don’t think he needed to go to South Korea. I think he needed to get a little knowledge.” The president’s comments that day seemed to confuse test kits with testing labs, but whatever. It was a great day for Maryland.
You can find it here: Washington Post – I’m a GOP governor. Why didn’t Trump help my state with coronavirus testing?