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U.S. states slam federal gov't for inadequate response to COVID-19 outbreak

(Xinhua)    14:21, July 17, 2020

A number of U.S. state governors have slammed the Trump administration for its inadequate response to the COVID-19 outbreak as cases are spiking again in the country amid rash reopenings.

In an article published in The Washington Post on Thursday, Maryland State Governor Larry Hogan, a Republican, lashed out at President Donald Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic as "hopeless."

"This should not have been necessary," Hogan wrote. "I'd watched as the president downplayed the outbreak's severity and as the White House failed to issue public warnings, draw up a 50-state strategy, or dispatch medical gear or lifesaving ventilators from the national stockpile to American hospitals."

"Eventually, it was clear that waiting around for the president to run the nation's response was hopeless; if we delayed any longer, we'd be condemning more of our citizens to suffering and death," he wrote.

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo said Thursday that the federal government's "incompetence" in managing the COVID-19 crisis failed New York, which became the first epicenter of the outbreak in the United States in March.

"It was terrible failing on behalf of the federal government because this was their job," he said while commenting on a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). "Government failed in this job ... And they still are not following the science."

The "governmental incompetence" is going to hurt New York a second time "when the virus was allowed to increase in other states and then come back to New York," he said.

Illinois State Governor J.B. Pritzker last week also criticised Trump for the raging pandemic when he testified before a congressional panel.

"In the midst of a global pandemic, states were forced to play some sort of sick Hunger Games game show to save the lives of our people," Pritzker said, referring to the plight where states need to compete for urgently-needed medical supplies.

Citing Trump's recent criticism of the new CDC guidance for reopening schools, which includes temporary school dismissals if there is a substantial spread of COVID-19 in the community, Pritzker said "I was so frustrated to see the president just sort of pronounce that, 'Well, everybody should open their schools.'"

"Please provide us with the kind of guidance that will help us do that," he said, adding that the CDC has been "muzzled" by the president.

During an interview with CBS News late last month, Washington Governor Jay Inslee blamed Trump for failing to urge Americans to wear masks amid resurgence in COVID-19 cases.

"From day one, he has downplayed and distorted and disabled our ability to fight this war," he said in Face the Nation on June 28.

"Instead of tweeting the other day about the importance of masks, he tweeted about the monuments," Inslee said. "We need a president who will care more about living Americans and less about dead Confederates."

The United States has been the hardest hit country by COVID-19 with more than 3.57 million infections and 138,000 fatalities as of Friday.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Wen Ying, Bianji)

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