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Trump says he's directed Pence not to call governors who aren't 'grateful' for federal aid

White House coronavirus task force to hold daily briefing after Trump signs stimulus bill
Posted at 3:47 PM, Mar 27, 2020

President Donald Trump bashed governors he claims weren't "grateful" enough for federal assistance, and said he's directed Vice President Mike Pence not to call such governors unless they "treat him right."

In particular, Trump called out Washington Gov. Jay Inslee — calling him "a failed presidential candidate" — and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who he said, "has no idea what's going on."

"I say Mike (Pence), don't call the governor of Washington; you're wasting your time with him. Don't call the woman in Michigan," Trump said. "It doesn't make any difference. You know what I say? If they don't treat you right, don't call."

Whitmer responded to Trump's comments Friday night, saying she was "willing to work with anyone as long as we get the personal protective equipment we need for the people of Michigan."

Washington is currently one of the hardest-hit states by COIVD-19. At least 109 people have died in the Seattle area alone. In Michigan, 60 people have died, and there are nearly 3,000 confirmed cases across the state.

Amid reports that the United States had reached 100,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus — the most in the world — Trump was asked about his presidential guidelines on social distancing, which expire on Monday. He declined to say if he would reinstate the guidelines this weekend but said he would speak to the task force before making a decision.

Trump was also asked about his decision to invoke the Defense Production Act to order GM to begin producing ventilators to address a nationwide shortage. When asked about his comments on Thursday night, casting doubt on whether governors actually needed the number of ventilators they were asking for, Trump said he thought many governor's estimates were high, and he hoped he could provide and surplus ventilators to other countries.