Home / Politics / White House officials push back on calls to activate DPA for critical medical supplies

White House officials push back on calls to activate DPA for critical medical supplies

During the briefing, Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, also said she was reassured after a conversation with New York leaders this week, saying there were an adequate number of ICU b and ventilators that haven‘t been used.

“There is still significant — over a thousand or two thousand ventilators that have not been utilized yet,” she said. “Please, for the reassurance of people around the world, to wake up this morning and look at people talking about creating DNR situations — do not resuscitate situations for patients — there is no situation in the United States right now that warrants that kind of discussion.

You can be thinking about it in a hospital. Certainly many hospitals talk about this on a daily basis.

She continued: “But to say that to the American people, to make the implication that when they need a hospital bed it‘s not going to be there, or when they need a ventilator it‘s not going to be there, we don‘t have an evidence of that right now. And it‘s our job to assure the American people that it‘s our collective job to make sure that doesn‘t happen.

Earlier Thursday, the White House trade adviser, Peter Navarro, who appears to be leading the effort on sourcing supplies for states across the country, said he was working with FEMA, the Department of Health and Human Services and the private sector to get health care professionals what “they need, and we’re just getting that done.”

“I couldn’t be prouder of the federal government and private enterprise and President Trump for bringing that effort together, because every time I call somebody — if I call 1,000 people today, 999 of them in the private sector will be more than willing to do whatever we ask,” Navarro said on Fox on Thursday morning.

Navarro had a more intense exchange later on CNN when he was asked about not activating the DPA. He said the administration was stepping up, “working very, very hard” to get equipment to hot spots like New York and other states facing an intensifying surge of coronavirus cases.

Navarro also downplayed reports that people were using garbage bags for protection, suggesting that CNN was sensationalizing the crisis.

“So, there’ll be pictures of people that you’re citing or whatever with garbage bags or whatever.

But that’s going to be the exception that proves the rule that we’re doing everything we can,” Navarro said.

“Let’s not sensationalize this crisis at a time when we create more anxiety or panicked behavior with people,” he added.

In an Instagram Live QA with NBA player Stephen Curry, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the White task force, also touted the private sector’s willingness to step up when he was asked whether the federal government’s approach to the supply problems was appropriate.

“Once you get the private sector, these companies involved, they can whip out billions and billions of masks,” Fauci said. “I mean, literally at the last meeting, we had to say, OK, enough is enough.

Let’s get them and flood it. Let’s get those companies to make them, and they’re willing to do it.

You know, it’s very interesting, you would think that the federal government would almost have to force them to do it. You’re not seeing that.

We’re seeing they’re stepping forward, wanting to do it themselves.”

But the praise stands in stark contrast to complaints from leaders across the country who say their states still don’t have the necessary supplies to battle the outbreak.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.

) on Thursday said she didn’t understand why Trump, just a day after reportedly telling Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer that he would activate the DPA, had walked back on the decision.

“But unfortunately, we have someone in the White House who I don’t think understands the core and essential functions of government,” Harris said on MSNBC on Thursday.

“I don’t think he respects those core and essential functions of government to understand what he should be unlocking and, in this case, to require and to encourage and incentivize domestic production of the health resources like masks and ventilators that will save American lives. I don’t understand.

I don’t understand it. I don’t get it.

I think it’s an abject failure of leadership.”

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