CNN’s Brianna Keilar asked Trump economist Peter Navarro about the lack of life-saving ventilators in hospitals, after President Donald Trump said governors had to find their own masks and ventilators, as reported by Bloomberg News.
Instead of taking responsibility, Navarro blamed China:
The Chinese Communist Party cost this country and the rest of the world six-weeks of preparation because they did not tell us early to mid-December that there was a crisis of human to human transmission with a new novel coronavirus. That has set the world back six weeks so we are dealing with this issue every day. We have a full force of the federal government.
In reality, China identified the deadly virus on Jan. 7. The first coronavirus hit the U.S. on Jan. 19, however, Trump waited 40 days to declare a national emergency and begin taking action.
There were U.S. intelligence reports as far back as January, but Trump failed to act, reports the Washington Post.
Keilar fact-checked Navarro on the spot:
In fairness, the government was clearly ill-prepared for this. is not something that, you know, these viruses happen and how awful they are. But they are things that happen.
Your government knew in the summer when they did a drill if this happens, this would be a problem and there was a lack of preparation which was why we have you on to talk about the sly supply chain.
The US, it looks like, is going to be about 200,000 ventilators and what experts are saying there could be a million needed. Are you going to be able to meet that demand?
Navarro tried to blame President Barack Obama’s administration and their reaction to H1N1, but Keilar countered:
Peter, why are you wasting your time on this and not solving the problem you have? Peter why are you even talking about this?
Navarro then whined: “You made the claim that this administration was ill-prepared.”
Keilar then asked Navarro what doctors and nurses want to know:
That’s a fact, Peter. That’s a fact. I’m just asking you if you’re going to be able to get to a million ventilators.
Navarro whined as Keilar after asked him again:
You keep talking in my ear and you won’t let me talk.
Keilar asked about the ventilators a third time, but Navarro went into spin mode:
That wasn’t the question. You asked, why this administration was ill-prepared. We’re doing the best we can, but don’t tell me we were ill-prepared for this because we inherited a system of testing a system of stockpiles that was woefully inadequate.