President Trump issued new coronavirus guidelines that included avoiding gatherings of more than 10 people.

Washington – President Donald Trump on Monday told Gov. Ned Lamont and other governors on a conference call that they should not wait for the federal government’s help and instead fill the growing demand for ventilators and respirator masks needed to treat victims of COVID-19.

“We will be backing you, but try getting it yourselves,” Trump said on the call.

Like China, Italy, Spain and other nations that have been ravaged by coronavirus, the demand for ventilators and respirators in the United States is expected to exceed supply.

In Europe several governments have prodded domestic manufacturers to increase production. Italy told its only ventilator manufacturer to quadruple production and deployed members of its armed forces to help meet the new quota.

Germany has ordered an additional 10,000 ventilators from a domestic supplier. England has asked its manufacturer to increase production and France is conducting a nationwide survey into its own stocks .

Trump administration officials have been reticent about addressing questions about how many ventilators, respiratory masks and other pieces of medical equipment are available in the United States to respond to the coronavirus crisis. Department of Health and Human Services Alex Azar recently said he could not discuss that issue because it was  a matter “of national security.”

The United States has a Strategic National Stockpile, a supply of potentially life-saving pharmaceuticals and medical supplies for use in a public health emergency severe enough to cause local supplies to run out.  But there are concerns the stockpile has not been adequately replenished after it was tapped to respond to the 2009 bird flu pandemic.

Lamont did not immediately respond to requests for comment about his phone call with Trump. But earlier on Monday, Lamont was critical of the president in a conference call with reporters.

The nation’s governors have been frustrated at the slow rollout by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of coronavirus testing kits for state labs. “The feds have been asleep at the switch. They’ve been slow off the draw,” Lamont said.

Also on Monday, Trump issued new guidelines which included the recommendation that people avoid gathering in groups of more than 10 and steer clear of eating and drinking at bars, restaurants and food courts.

“This is a bad one. This is a very bad one,” the president said. Unlike the nation’s governors, who can tap their emergency powers to mandate changes in social conduct, the federal government can only issue guidance.

Lamont on Monday mandated the closing of Connecticut bars, restaurants, gyms and movie theaters.

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Ana has written about politics and policy in Washington, D.C.. for Gannett, Thompson Reuters and UPI. She was a special correspondent for the Miami Herald, and a regular contributor to The New York TImes, Advertising Age and several other publications. She has also worked in broadcast journalism, for CNN and several local NPR stations. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Journalism.

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5 Comments

  1. He mentioned it may be quicker since they wouldn’t have as much red tape and that he was authorizing them to do just that.

    I watched the presser.

  2. As Governor of Virginia said , comparing it to U.S. being at war and “we just heard our leader say you all need to get your own weapons at the state level to defeat this. But that’s the way it’s been”.
    This virus is a national problem, not a state problem. Just Sunday, Trump said “We’re going to be all be great” and “We’re going to be so good”…..then went on to tweet about Hillary Clinton’s emails for the gazzilionth time and the “fake and corrupt news”.

    1. It is not helpful that people like you make this political. By the way, our hospitals are not federalized and as the Mirror reported in 2016, former Governor Malloy suspended $140 million for our state hospitals.

      1. I’m apolitical. I’m talking facts. And if you’ve been on this site for any length of time, I have been forever very critical of the Democratic party in the state of Connecticut. On a national level, I personally think the Republican party has acted/performed Very poorly on a number of very critical issues, including healthcare, gun regs. And I find the way they (numerous Senators and Congressmen) talk and act on a personal level extremely obnoxious.
        Trump……well he is in a category all by himself. He is simply a person whereby I cannot see one redeemable personality trait. Never mind the fact that he is completely incompetent.

  3. These Democratic governors like Lamont, Cuomo, Newsome, etc., are like teenagers who want to exercise the liberties of being an adult without bearing the responsibilities of being an adult.

    They want to go their own way without any accountability to the President’s administration and expect assistance, aid, and financial support when they cannot handle problems themselves.

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