As President Donald Trump was at Thursday’s coronavirus press briefing calling for lawmakers to get beyond partisanship, the White House released a letter he sent to Chuck Schumer trashing him as a senator.
“You have been missing in action, except when it comes to the ‘press,'” Trump wrote. “While you have stated that you don’t like Andrew Cuomo, you ought to start working alongside him for the good of all New Yorkers.”
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He added, “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 accused Schumer of spending too much time on the “impeachment hoax,” and said that he could have been “focused on helping the people of New York, then New York would not have been so completely unprepared for the ‘invisible enemy.’ No wonder AOC and others are thinking about running against you in the primary. If they did, they would win.”
Schumer, in a letter to the president, had called for Trump to appoint a senior military officer to fix supply chain problems, rather than rely on a “patchwork of uncoordinated voluntary efforts” to combat the pandemic.
Trump, however, wrote that he had put Rear Admiral John Polowcyzyk, in charge of purchasing and distribution. He said that the Defense Production Act “has been consistently used by my team and me for the purchase of billions of dollars worth of equipment, medical supplies, ventilators and other related items.”
“We have given New York many things, including hospitals, medical centers, medical supplies, record numbers of ventilators, and more. You should have had New York much better prepared than you did, and as Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx said yesterday, New York was very late in its fight against the virus.”
During the briefing, WH released this letter from Trump to Chuck Schumer. pic.twitter.com/dd7qdAPZ11
— Ted Johnson (@tedstew) April 2, 2020
On MSNBC’s All In With Chris Hayes, Schumer explained that the intent of the letter was to suggest that the president put in place a military person who could make sense of the patchwork of state governors looking for supplies. Schumer said that he recommended “somebody who knows command and control; someone who knows logistics; someone who knows a quartermastering to not only commandeer factories and supply chains to make the stuff that we need, desperately need, but also to distribute it in the places most needed, so not the 50 governors will be hunting and pecking.”
He added, “And then I spoke to the president late this afternoon and explained it, and the result is this letter. And so I’m just appalled.”
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