Trump: “We’re Not A Shipping Clerk”

(NBC News) There are signs critical protective gear for medical workers on the front lines of the fight against coronavirus are in dangerously short supply.

The Centers for Disease Control is now advising the use of bandanas when masks aren’t available.

The Trump administration has promised a surge of masks and ventilators that could be used to protect people and save lives, but the president on Thursday backed off an earlier pledge to invoke a wartime power to draft companies into producing critical equipment, now saying it’s the job of cities and states to find their own.

“The federal government is not supposed to be out there buying vast amounts of items and shipping, you know, we’re not a shipping clerk,” Mr. Trump said.

The president briefly raised hopes the government has figured out how to fast-track and repurpose drugs to help fight the deadly symptoms, saying “we’re going to be able to make drugs available almost immediately,” but moments later his Food and Drug Administration commissioner suggested it wouldn’t be so quick, and testing still has to take place.

“No promises can be made, but one thing that we’re doing is really working hard to fast track as much as possible,” Dr. Stephen Hahn said.

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