Trump sends insulting letter saying his failures are Chuck Schumer's fault

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With more than 92,000 coronavirus cases, New York is the country's hardest-hit state.

Donald Trump blamed New York's more than 92,000 COVID-19 cases and 1,500 deaths on Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in an angry letter released on Thursday.

Trump claimed the federal government should only be a "back-up for state governments" and that the New York Democrat was to blame for his state not being prepared for the virus.

"If you spent less time on your ridiculous impeachment hoax, which went haplessly on forever and ended up going nowhere (except increasing my poll numbers), and instead focused on helping the people of New York, then New York would not have been so completely unprepared for the 'invisible enemy,'" he wrote. "No wonder AOC and others are thinking about running against you in the primary. If they did, they would likely win."

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Schumer voted to convict Trump in early February after the House of Representatives impeached him in December. Trump was acquitted after a brief Senate trial.

New York's pandemic preparation is a responsibility of the state government. Schumer (D-NY), as a U.S. senator, is a federal lawmaker and has no role in state decisions.

Trump also suggested this week that Schumer was "missing in action, except when it comes to the 'press'."

"I’ve known you for many years, but I never knew how bad a Senator you are for the state of New York, until I became President," he concluded.

Trump was responding to a letter Schumer sent him earlier on Thursday, urging the appointment of a "senior military officer as 'czar'" to "to complete and rapidly implement a plan for the increased production, procurement and distribution of critically-needed medical devices and equipment."

"The existing federal leadership void has left America with an ugly spectacle in which States and cities are literally fending for themselves, often in conflict and competition with each other, when trying to procure precious medical supplies and equipment," Schumer wrote.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has warned that his state will soon run out of ventilators for COVID-19 patients. But Trump has downplayed the problem, accused the state of stockpiling, and suggested New York should fend for itself.

Cuomo complained on Tuesday that New York and other states were being forced to bid against each other — and against the federal government — to buy the few ventilators currently available. "Did you really have to learn that 50 states shouldn't compete against 50 states?" he said. "And then FEMA shouldn't come in late and compete with 50 states? It's not like you had to go to the Harvard Kennedy School to learn this."

Trump has downplayed the threat of the virus for weeks. He claimed on Feb. 25 that the situation was "very well under control in our country." A day later, he predicted that the number of cases would soon be "down close to zero."

As recently as March 15, Trump was still claiming that it was "something that we have tremendous control over."

As of Thursday, the CDC reported more than 213,000 COVID-19 overall cases — nearly half in New York.

This is not the first time Trump has attacked congressional Democrats for troubles in the states and localities they represent, despite the fact that they are not responsible for local governance. He has blamed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for San Francisco's sanitation policies, Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) for Atlanta's crime rates, and the late Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) for rodents in Baltimore.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.