Inslee, they added, also alluding to the Defense Production Act, saying that Washington State needs companies that are more than encouraged to manufacture items such as masks and ventilators – they need a federal mandate to force them to act. He said the Pentagon must take immediate action to persuade defense companies to supply material. And he spoke urgently about the situation in nursing homes.
Trump defended his efforts, two of the people said, and told Inslee that he and the federal government have done a lot for Washington and other states in the past few days and have ticked off several initiatives.
An Inslee spokesman declined to comment. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Inslee spoke to reporters in Washington about the discussion with Trump after the call: “I will not go into details, but I will say that I told them that states should not compete against each other. We are grateful for your support in what you have done so far. “
The exchange was the most recent focal point when tensions between Trump and some local officials over his leadership increased during the coronavirus outbreak as some states see a spiraling number of cases and deaths during the pandemic.
Earlier this month, Trump called Inslee a “snake”
“I said [Vice President Pence] The governor did not add because this governor is a snake, “Trump said over Inslee. “And if you’re nice to him, he’ll take advantage of it.”
Inslee was not the only governor to raise the alarm, a person informed of the call. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards (D) raised a number of questions when New Orleans and his state were prepared for turmoil with the number of cases and deaths are increasing there.
The governor of Maryland, Larry Hogan (R), first spoke for the governors on the call to head the National Governors Association. He pleaded for Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. to have its own testing facility because the region has a large workforce that keeps the federal government running, according to those familiar with the call. A White House official said it was under construction.
Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) raised objections to the federal aid package that treats the district as a territory. The governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam (D), a doctor, asked Deborah Birx, who is responsible for the government’s response, about her best and worst scenarios. She said she was still looking at the modeling, said people who were familiar with the call.
The lack of personal protective equipment for healthcare workers was the greatest concern of governors, who said they believed the country needed a federal response so that states would not compete for medical care – an ongoing issue of the discussion, the respondents said and informed about that.
Other notable moments were when Governor Jim Justice of West Virginia (R) expressed concern about the state’s first positive test in a nursing home. In the meantime, Governor Henry McMaster (R-S.C.), An ally of Trump, told the president that small businesses can’t stand too much more from the economic shutdown, aid workers familiar with the call said.
And Tate Reeves (R), Mississippi governor, told the president that he appreciated that he had realized that some states were worse off than others and that parts of the country could be reopened, the people familiar with the call said.
Trump described the situation as “crazy” and said that the country must be open to business again.
Andrew M. Cuomo (D), governor of New York, the last governor to speak, asked the president to work with governors and said that they were “non-political” as administrators of their states. Trump seemed to like Cuomo’s comments and thanked him.
The previous Thursday, Trump sent a letter to the country’s governors informing them that his government was developing “new policies” that could be used at state and local levels to determine the type of social detachment measures that would be undertaken the coronavirus pandemic.
The guidelines will classify each county in the country as low-risk, medium-risk, or high-risk, Trump said.
In the letter, he said the Americans “hope the day will come soon” when they can go back to normal life.
“To achieve this common goal, my administration is working to publish new guidelines for government and local decision-makers that will help them make decisions about maintaining, increasing, or easing social distance and other mitigation measures,” Trump wrote.
The letter comes as public health officials have warned that premature reopening of the country’s economy could worsen the spread of the virus. Trump has said he would like the economy to revive until Easter, April 12.
Ovetta Wiggins, Seung Min Kim and Felicia Sonmez contributed to this report.