Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo thanked President Donald Trump and his team Wednesday for their “cooperation” in obtaining the number of needed ventilators for his state.
Cuomo also said Trump is using the power of the Defense Production Act (DPA) “well.”
Passed in 1950, the DPA gives the government the power to direct industrial production during emergencies.
“Only the federal government has that power, and not to exercise that power is inexplicable to me,” Cuomo said Tuesday. “It’s nice that these companies are coming forward and saying they want to help — that is not going to get us there. I do not for the life of me understand the reluctance to use the federal Defense Production Act.”
Wednesday’s discussion of the topic was different.
“I’ve spoken to people in the White House who have handled these operations, I’ve spoken with the vice president. I’ve spoken with Jared Kushner, who is a New Yorker, he knows New York and he is working in the White House, and he has been extraordinarily helpful on all of these situations,” Cuomo said during Wednesday’s press conference.
Calling the lack of ventilators a “common challenge” that “no one ever anticipated,” Cuomo said his state has “purchased everything that can be purchased.”
“The president and his team I think are using the DPA well because it’s basically a leverage tool when you are dealing with private companies, right?” he said before adding that the “ramp-up time” it takes to “get these things up and running” is an “extraordinarily difficult task.” (RELATED: Brit Hume Has A Theory About Why Some People Don’t Want The Economy Restarted)
“And it’s something that our team is working on with the White House team and I want to thank the president for his cooperation and his team for their cooperation,” said Cuomo. “We’re getting very creative. We’re talking to countries around the world as well as new companies that could do production.”
Cuomo has offered praise of the Trump administration as recently as March 17, when he said the president and his team were “on it” when it comes to handling the coronavirus crisis. But, just like on Tuesday and Wednesday, prior to that instance March 17, Cuomo criticized Trump’s handling of the national coronavirus response.