Trump Accuses Medical Workers On Front Lines Of Misusing Equipment
Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

During a press conference on Sunday, Donald Trump took aim at the medical workers who are risking their lives to take care of those infected with the novel coronavirus. In true-to-form conspiracy-theorist fashion, the impeached president claimed that “something’s going on” with the masks being sent to New York, now considered the epicenter of the country’s COVID-19 pandemic.  

“How do you go from using 10,000 to 20,000 [masks] to 300,000?” Trump asked during a press briefing. “Even though this is different—something’s going on. Where are the masks going? Are they going out the back door?”

Trump, during a coronavirus press briefing, implies that health care workers in New York are misusing masks amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trump’s comments come amid long-running reports that medical workers all over the country are being forced to wear masks intended for single use, throughout the duration of their shifts. States like Washington, California, New York and New Jersey are particularly concerned by the shortage that further increases the risk to health care workers. As they continue an ongoing fight against the deadly illness, those on the frontlines are falling ill at rapid rates.

President Trump Holds Daily Coronavirus Task Force Briefing In Rose Garden and accuses New York medical workers of misusing masks
WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 29: U.S. President Donald Trump listens to Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaking in the Rose Garden for the daily coronavirus briefing at the White House on March 29, 2020, in Washington, D.C. The United States is advising residents of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut not to travel domestically after the number of reported coronavirus deaths doubled to over 2,000 nationwide within two days. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Presidential hopeful Joe Biden was particularly disturbed by the comments Trump made on Sunday. In a tweet, the former VP said, “I am issuing this challenge to the President: In the next 48 hours, direct the production and distribution of respirator masks, gloves, protective face shields and gowns to fill every supply request made by a governor to the federal government. Lives are at stake.”

According to the HuffPost, Biden elaborated in a statement, saying that Trump’s comments are “ridiculous and completely false.” He added, “Today’s conspiracy-mongering from our President is among the most reckless and ignorant moves he has made during this crisis—and there have been many. Lives hang in the balance.”

In recent weeks, the White House has reinstated daily press briefings to deliver updates on the coronavirus pandemic. However, news outlets are starting to question whether they should air the national news addresses live, given the false and inaccurate information given. Last week, a Washington-based NPR station stopped live airings “due to a pattern of false or misleading information provided that cannot be fact-checked in real time.” A New York Times article published last week suggests that other media outlets may follow suit.

ESSENCE is committed to bringing our audience the latest facts about COVID-19 (coronavirus). Our content team is closely monitoring the developing details surrounding the virus via official sources and health care experts, including the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Please continue to refresh ESSENCE’s informational hub for updates on COVID-19, as well as for tips on taking care of yourselves, your families and your communities.

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