WASHINGTON, Mar 24 (Reuters) – US President Donald Trump acknowledged on Tuesday the difficulty of obtaining health supplies, crucial amid the coronavirus advance, while officials warned that the health care delivery system was in danger to collapse.
“The global mask and ventilator market is insane. We are helping states get equipment, but it is not easy,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
Some state and local officials have denounced the lack of coordinated federal action against the rapid spread of the coronavirus. They claim that the fact that towns act on their own makes them compete for supplies against other states and municipalities, the government in Washington and even other nations.
In New York state, the epicenter of the country’s outbreak, the Mayor of New York City asked for fans, masks, and other medical equipment in the face of rising cases and a lack of supplies. Officials in California, another critical point, asked for an additional 50,000 hospital beds.
Trump said Tuesday that federal authorities had purchased 400 ventilators for New York City and that four temporary hospitals were being built in the state. New York officials could not immediately be reached for the Trump tweet.
State governors and other officials have called on Trump to enforce the Production Defense Act, a move that would allow the government to speed up manufacturing. The president said Sunday that he was hesitant because “nationalizing our businesses is not a good concept.”
(Report by Susan Heavey, Edited in Spanish by Janisse Huambachano)