Governors around the country are alternately anxious, exhausted, and angry with the federal government for its lackluster and often uneven response to their urgent requests for personal protective equipment, according to a report in the Washington Post.
While Oklahoma, for example, received 120,000 face masks in response to a request for only 16,000, North Carolina in contrast, which requested 500,000 medical coveralls, received a mere 306. Wisconsin is still awaiting 190,000 non-surgical masks.
“Frustration level is high. We’re hoping we’ll be able to get them. The federal government needs to help us with that. There’s no question,” says Wisconsin governor Tony Evers.
Trump has come under fire for his response to the need, focusing more heavily on states’ expressions of gratitude than on the health and well being of their frontline workers and citizens: “All I want them to do — very simple — I want them to be appreciative,” Trump told reporters, according to the article. “I don’t want them to say things that aren’t true. I want them to be appreciative.
New York governor Andrew Cuomo has also critiqued the federal government for outbidding states for equipment in the private market: “What sense does this make? The federal government, FEMA, should have been the purchasing agent. Buy everything, and then allocate it by need to the states.”
Read more about states’ frustrations with the federal government’s inefficient and insufficient responses to COVID-19 needs here.