The Trump administration has said it isn't the federal government's job to help states in crisis.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) laid out on Thursday how the federal government should help states struggling to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.
Cuomo's presentation stands in stark contrast to comments made by Donald Trump, who has repeatedly said states should work on the problem on their own.
"The federal government is not supposed to be out there buying vast amounts of items and then shipping," Trump said on March 19. "You know, we're not a shipping clerk."
From an April 9 press conference:
ANDREW CUOMO: The supplies, the equipment, is a real issue to address. Now, there's different ways to do it. The federal government, the president said, you know, the federal government's not a shipping clerk for states.
One theory is the federal government is the supply purchaser for states, that states aren't left to their own to scale up for a global pandemic. The federal government does it. That's what FEMA does.
I come from a strong federal government background, part of the Clinton administration. We were very active on disasters, and FEMA was a really key player. So to me that's a viable option.
Yes, this is a federal emergency declaration. It is a war.
When you go to war, that's a federal effort, right? It's not state by state that declares war. It's not state by state that you go out and you buy tanks. This is a global pandemic, it's a national situation, something like 98% of the country is under stay-home orders now.
The federal government is the purchaser in chief, strategist in chief. FEMA buys the equipment, distributes it to the states that need it.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.