Bernie Sanders Pushes Postal Service To Protect Letter Carriers In Coronavirus Crisis

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in a letter to United States Postal Service on Tuesday demanded answers on how letter carriers are being protected during the coronavirus pandemic, after reports that postal workers haven’t had access to needed sanitation and protective gear. 

Sanders, who remains in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, urged the postmaster general to “protect employees and customers in the wake of an unprecedented public health crisis.” 

The senator’s letter cited a report by ProPublica earlier this month, in which some letter carriers said they were pressured to keep delivering mail despite having symptoms of illness. Others said they had little to no access to hand sanitizer on the job.

Sanders also linked to a report in The Nation last week saying carriers reported not being given soap, disinfectant wipes or gloves. 

As of Tuesday, over 200 postal workers have tested positive for coronavirus, according to the USPS — more than three times as many as last week. This is still a relatively low figure among a workforce of about 630,000. But as testing is ramping up nationwide and the virus continues to spread, more cases are likely to emerge.  

USPS told HuffPost that it would be responding directly to Sanders’ letter and that the “safety of our employees is our highest priority.”

The agency said it was “making gloves and surgical masks available to all employees,” and pointed to its increased coronavirus-related paid leave for workers to use for childcare or if they’ve come into contact with someone with COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

As millions of Americans have been ordered to stay home to protect themselves and stem the spread of coronavirus in recent weeks, postal workers nationwide are still going to work, risking their health to deliver the letters, government benefits, prescriptions and more mail that people need and rely on. 

The workers are part of a workforce deemed “essential” during the coronavirus crisis, meaning that — like grocery store workers, firefighters, garbage collectors and more — they still have to show up to work every day, even as large swaths of the country have closed stores and schools, and companies have mandated employees work from home. 

Last week, HuffPost spoke to a postal worker union leader who said his members didn’t have enough sanitizer to meet their needs. And a letter carrier, discussing the stress he is feeling, told HuffPost that he is on the go all day without access to a bathroom and can’t easily comply with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention telling people to wash their hands frequently. He hadn’t found any hand sanitizer for sale in his town, and his supervisor said the jug they all share at work was the last on hand.

“I just wear rubber gloves and try not to touch my face — I don’t know what else to do,” the carrier said. “I actually think I’m going to get the virus, it’s just a matter of time.” 

  • Stay up to date with our live blog as we cover the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Europe is facing lockdown fatigue. Could it happen here?
  • I just got out of a COVID-19 ICU. Here’s how I made it through.
  • How to make a no-sew coronavirus face mask
  • Avoiding going to the store? Here’s how to order groceries online.
  • What to do if you live with someone with COVID-19
  • There’s a simple game that can stop a tantrum cold
  • The HuffPost guide to working from home
  • What coronavirus questions are on your mind right now? We want to help you find answers.
  • Everyone deserves accurate information about COVID-19. Support journalism – and keep it free for everyone – by becoming a HuffPost member today.
     

Source: Read Full Article

‘Public health risk’: How Tesla fought to keep its US plant open in a locked-down city

Tesla's lone US assembly plant posed a risk to public health by staying open for days in spite of San Francisco Bay area shelter-in-place orders, according to documents obtained through a California public records request.

Officials with the city of Fremont, California, told Tesla in a series of conversations over several days that its factory was not considered an essential business, and that it therefore needed to comply with an Alameda County order issued March 16. The electric-car maker announced March 19 that it would suspend production four days later.

Tesla’s manufacturing plant in Fremont, California has been deemed an essential business and is allowed to remain in operation despite Bay Area orders for people to stay home to limit the spread of Covid-19.Credit:Bloomberg

The documents provide a more detailed glimpse of what was a contentious days-long debate between local authorities and Tesla, which sought to stay open based on how the federal government defines critical infrastructure sectors. Fremont's police chief, the deputy city manager, the county's health officer and its assistant counsel were among the officials who got involved in the dispute before Tesla backed down.

Representatives for Tesla didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on the documents.

The Bay area was the first region in the US to enact shelter-in-place orders, a massive effort impacting more than seven million people. Since then, the coronavirus has wreaked havoc on communities across the country and put immense strain on the global economy. Alameda County had 264 confirmed cases of COVID-19 – the disease caused by the coronavirus – as of March 30, according to the health department. Seven have died.

Hours before Tesla announced plans to suspend production, Kimberly Petersen, Fremont's police chief, and other city officials held a virtual meeting on March 19 to follow up on a determination reached the day before: the company had to cease all activities except for minimum basic operations.

In a March 21 letter to Tesla, she recounted the city's efforts to seek clarification as to whether the carmaker was an essential business by consulting with Scott Dickey, the assistant counsel for the county. Dickey relayed a determination from Erica Pan, Alameda County's health officer.

"Mr. Dickey informed city staff that Dr. Pan does not consider Tesla to be an essential business, but rather, considers Tesla's manufacturing plant to be a public health risk," Petersen wrote in the letter.

Tesla's plant employs roughly 10,000 people, but many workers commute from elsewhere, including California's Central Valley. The company told employees last week that two staffers at unspecified offices were confirmed to have COVID-19.

A Nevada television station reported Sunday that a Tesla worker at its battery factory near Reno had tested positive, citing an email that cell supplier Panasonic sent to employees. Tesla had more than 48,000 employees worldwide at the end of 2019.

Tesla chief Elon Musk.Credit:AP

When Tesla representatives including Rohan Patel, a senior director of policy and business development who used to work in the Obama administration, met Fremont officials on March 19, they said the company intended to comply with the order, though it needed to conduct a "staged shutdown" of the plant.

The two sides agreed that all vehicle manufacturing would cease on March 23. Employees who remained on site would complete work at the end of assembly lines to protect the value of vehicles and batteries, while others would perform basic operations such as security, maintenance and cleaning, all while following social-distancing requirements.

"You explicitly agreed to that understanding," the police chief later wrote. "If you were to transition to manufacturing ventilators, or other equipment intended to aid in the fight against COVID-19, these activities would be permitted."

Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk tweeted March 18, the day before the meeting with Fremont officials, that the company would make ventilators "if there is a shortage." The carmaker has since held discussions with Medtronic, a leading ventilator maker based in Dublin, Ireland, but there's no indication yet that Tesla will play a role in manufacturing the medical devices.

During another virtual meeting on Sunday, March 22, Tesla briefly reversed its decision to close its plant. Alan Prescott, Tesla's acting general counsel, argued the county's health order had been superseded by a new statewide order issued by California Governor Gavin Newsom. The order included an exception for "critical infrastructure sectors," a category Tesla claimed included its plant and thus meant the company could continue conducting full operations.

After Petersen, the police chief, told Tesla during the meeting that the city was rejecting that argument, Prescott said the company would wind down operations because it was "the right thing to do."

A tweet Musk sent two days earlier suggested Tesla didn't have a choice – the factory couldn't stay open because Tesla's parts suppliers weren't going to keep running their plants, he wrote.

Petersen told Tesla she would like to schedule an inspection of the company's facilities on March 24 to ensure compliance.

"In closing, I would like to reiterate that the city of Fremont highly values Tesla as a partner and appreciates what you do for our economy and community," Petersen wrote in one of her emails to the company. "We are extremely grateful for your willingness to collaborate in our fight against the spread of COVID-19 by placing public health ahead of all other priorities."

Bloomberg

Source: Read Full Article

Trump Tells Americans to Prepare for a ‘Painful Two Weeks’

President Donald Trump warned Americans that “we’re going to go through a very tough two weeks” as the coronavirus continues to spread around the country.

“Our strength will be tested, our endurance will be tried,” the president said at a daily White House briefing on Tuesday afternoon. His somber manner stood in contrast to the optimistic, upbeat tone he has often projected in previous sessions.

20,921 in U.S.Most new cases today

-23% Change in MSCI World Index of global stocks since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23

-1.​063 Change in U.S. treasury bond yield since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23


“This is going to be a painful two weeks,” Trump said.

He added, however, that the virus would eventually subside and it’s “going to be like a burst of light” at the end of a tunnel.

Source: Read Full Article

Apple Asks Store Workers to Take On Tech Support Roles

Apple Inc. is asking retail store employees to temporarily become remote technical support staff while stores remain closed.

A subset of retail staff are participating in the program to become work-from-home AppleCare employees so the company has enough workers to handle customer requests.

The company quietly piloted the move in recent weeks before prodding many employees this week to take part. In a video message on Friday, Apple retail chief Deirdre O’Brien said the effort “has been going great.”

Some workers said their current situation prevented them from participating and they worried this could put them in lesser standing with their managers. Others said they were surprised by the request after Apple had pledged to keep paying them just for staying home. Other workers said they are happy to assist during this unprecedented period.

Several store workers were sent forms to sign up and those who don’t want to are asked to explain why. The employees asked not to be identified speaking about internal issues. Still, the program is not mandatory, and Apple confirmed that all retail employees, regardless of participation, are being paid their full salaries and benefits.

The program is one of several changes to Apple’s operations as it adjusts to the global health crisis. The Cupertino, California-based technology giant closed its 458 stores outside of mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong earlier in March to help curb the spread of Covid-19.

Nearly all of Apple’s global corporate employees, including engineers, are working from home, causing some product delays and the need for staff to adjust to the new reality.

Read more: Apple Culture of Secrecy Tested by Employees Working Remotely

The company asks employees participating in the AppleCare program to have a quiet workspace with room for a 27-inch iMac, which Apple will provide, a strong internet connection, and the ability to participate in a virtual training course to be held in the next two weeks.

In messages to employees, O’Brien said Apple stores would reopen on a case-by-case basis depending on local conditions, possibly as soon as the first half of April.

Source: Read Full Article

The Abortion Ban In Texas Is Back On

An abortion ban in Texas during the coronavirus outbreak can temporarily continue, a federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday.

Patients may not receive an abortion in the state unless it is medically necessary to preserve their life or health. Providers who violate the executive order could face a fine of up to $1,000 or 180 days of jail time.

Last week, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) issued an executive order postponing all “unnecessary medical procedures” to save medical supplies for the health professionals combating the coronavirus. Ken Paxton, the attorney general, clarified that abortions were considered unnecessary under the executive order. 

As a result, abortion clinics in the state were forced to cancel hundreds of appointments. A coalition of reproductive rights groups filed a lawsuit challenging the ban on Wednesday. 

On Monday, a federal judge temporarily blocked Texas from enforcing the abortion restriction. “The attorney general’s interpretation of the Executive Order prevents Texas women from exercising what the Supreme Court has declared is their fundamental constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy before a fetus is viable,” U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel wrote in his decision. 

Less than 24 hours later, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit reversed the ruling. In a 2-1 opinion, the appeals court ruled that the order from the lower court be stayed until an appeal from Texas is considered.

In a statement, Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said that the 5th Circuit was escalating the fear and confusion women seeking abortion in Texas are already experiencing.

“The trial court found just yesterday that women will suffer irreparable harm if clinics are closed,” she said. “We will continue fighting this legal battle against Texas’ abuse of emergency powers.” 

State officials in Texas have defended the ban as an important public health measure.

“Abortion providers who refuse to follow state law are demonstrating a clear disregard for Texans suffering from this medical crisis. For years, abortion has been touted as a ‘choice’ by the same groups now attempting to claim that it is an essential procedure,” said attorney general Paxton in a statement. “My office will continue to defend Governor Abbott’s Order to ensure that supplies and personal protective gear reach the hardworking medical professionals who need it the most during this health crisis.”  

But reproductive rights groups say Texas is among a growing number of states that are taking advantage of the pandemic to stealthily erode abortion access. Ohio, Iowa, Alabama, Mississippi and Kentucky have all taken steps to halt abortion, claiming that the procedure is elective and can simply be postponed. 

“Texans are losing their jobs, they are struggling to put food on the table, they can’t get COVID-19 testing – meanwhile indicted Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is doubling down on banning abortion,” said Aimee Arrambide, executive director, NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, in a statement. “Texans know abortion is a time-sensitive procedure that can not be delayed without profound consequences and Texans will remember that when they needed help during a pandemic, their state leaders were too busy politicizing and banning abortion care.”

The impact of Texas’ abortion ban has already been felt by many women in the state. One college student told HuffPost that she had to drive 24 hours and stay in an Airbnb in another state to access the abortion pill. 

“I feel let down by my government,” she said. “Frankly, I feel like my constitutional rights were violated when I needed them the most.”

Source: Read Full Article

Gov. Andrew Cuomo Reacts to Brother Chris' Coronavirus Diagnosis: Virus 'Is the Great Equalizer'



Revealing news of his diagnosis, Chris wrote in a statement posted on Twitter that he experienced “fever, chills and shortness of breath.”

“Sooooo in these difficult times that seem to get more difficult and complicated by the day, I just found out that I am positive for coronavirus,” he wrote. “I have been exposed to people in recent days who have subsequently tested positive and I had fever, chills and shortness of breath.”

He added: “I just hope I didn’t give it to the kids and [my wife] Cristina. That would make me feel worse than this illness!”

With New York becoming the epicenter of the coronavirus epidemic, home to more than 40 percent of all confirmed cases in the country and about 40 percent of the deaths, Gov. Cuomo has become the face of the nation’s state leaders, holding daily press conferences on how to combat the spread.

As of March 31, there were more than 173,741 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the U.S. and more than 3,400 deaths, including 75,795 cases in New York and 1,550 deaths, according to available data compiled by The New York Times.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.

Source: Read Full Article

Cuomo Says N.Y. Must Pool Resources; Death Toll Exceeds 1,500

New York State reported more than 9,000 new coronavirus infections Tuesday and more than 300 new deaths as Governor Andrew Cuomo called for a statewide sharing of health-care resources to prepare for the outbreak’s peak in the coming weeks.

The new fatalities pushed New York’s overall toll to above 1,500, or roughly half of all U.S. deaths from the pandemic.

20,921 in U.S.Most new cases today

-22% Change in MSCI World Index of global stocks since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23

-1.​05 Change in U.S. treasury bond yield since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23


Cuomo, in a daily briefing Tuesday on the outbreak, said various models the state is relying on show the apex of cases could be anywhere from one to three weeks away.

After a meeting with public health officials and hospital executives on Monday, Cuomo said he was putting in place a statewide system to be managed by the Department of Health that will coordinate the sharing of staff, equipment and hospital space among all 170 of New York’s hospitals.

Cuomo said this would even out the burden between hardest-hit downstate public hospitals and private ones with more resources or facilities in remote locations that haven’t yet been overwhelmed by the virus.

“You almost have to shock the system into saying, ‘OK, we’re really going to operate as one,” he said.

Cuomo said he would ask upstate hospitals to send staff downstate to help share the work, before resorting to sending sick downstate patients to beds upstate.

“They need relief,” he said of metro-area medical workers who have endured long shifts day after day, some of them reluctant to go home out of fear of inflecting their families. “They are physically exhausted and they are emotionally exhausted.”

Of the 76,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in New York State, 11,000 are hospitalized and 2,700 are in intensive care. State officials are watching the number of the most serious cases closely, because it has limited space available to treat them. Before the outbreak, the city had about 3,000 intensive-care beds, though it has been stockpiling ventilators and making space for more.

More: New York City Marshals All Hospitals; Navy Sails In to Help

Cuomo said that New York has ordered 17,000 more ventilators from China and anticipates receiving 2,500 of them in the next two weeks.

While the number of those merely hospitalized is still well below the state’s existing bed capacity, Cuomo said the state expects it will ultimately need another 20,000 to 40,000 beds to handle patients at the peak of the crisis.

As part of his cooperation plan, Cuomo said the state is also launching a portal Tuesday to coordinate the allocation of 78,000 medical workers who have volunteered to help out, matching their expertise and skill level to facilities with those specific needs, after checking their medical licenses and disciplinary records.

As Cuomo was giving his remarks, CNN announced that Chris Cuomo, a CNN anchor and the governor’s brother, had tested positive for Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

The governor has given regular interviews to his brother since the outbreak began, often tinged with brotherly ribbing.

On Chris Cuomo’s condition, the governor said: “He is going to be fine. He’s young, in good shape, strong -- not as strong as he thinks -- but he will be fine.”

More: A Map of New York City Hospital Beds as Coronavirus Cases Surge

Source: Read Full Article

How Tesla Fought to Keep Its Plant Open in a Locked-Down City

Tesla Inc.’s lone U.S. assembly plant posed a risk to public health by staying open for days in spite of San Francisco Bay area shelter-in-place orders, according to documents obtained through a California public records request.

Officials with the city of Fremont, California, told Tesla in a series of conversations over several days that its factory was not considered an essential business, and that it therefore needed to comply with an Alameda County order issued March 16. The electric-car maker announced March 19 that it would suspend production four days later.

The documents provide a more detailed glimpse of what was a contentious days-long debate between local authorities and Tesla, which sought to stay open based on how the federal government defines critical infrastructure sectors. Fremont’s police chief, the deputy city manager, the county’s health officer and its assistant counsel were among the officials who got involved in the dispute before Tesla backed down.

Representatives for Tesla didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the documents.

The Bay area was the first region in the U.S. to enact shelter-in-place orders, a massive effort impacting more than 7 million people. Since then, the coronavirus has wreaked havoc on communities across the country and put immense strain on the global economy. Alameda County had 264 confirmed cases of Covid-19 — the disease caused by the coronavirus — as of March 30, according to the health department. Seven have died.

Virtual Meeting

Hours before Tesla announced plans to suspend production, Kimberly Petersen, Fremont’s police chief, and other city officials held a virtual meeting on March 19 to follow up on a determination reached the day before: the company had to cease all activities except for minimum basic operations.

In a March 21 letter to Tesla, she recounted the city’s efforts to seek clarification as to whether the carmaker was an essential business by consulting with Scott Dickey, the assistant counsel for the county. Dickey relayed a determination from Erica Pan, Alameda County’s health officer.

“Mr. Dickey informed city staff that Dr. Pan does not consider Tesla to be an essential business, but rather, considers Tesla’s manufacturing plant to be a public health risk,” Petersen wrote in the letter.

Tesla’s plant employs roughly 10,000 people, but many workers commute from elsewhere, including California’s Central Valley. The company told employees last week that two staffers at unspecified offices were confirmed to have Covid-19.

A Nevada television station reported Sunday that a Tesla worker at its battery factory near Reno had tested positive, citing an email that cell supplier Panasonic Corp. sent to employees. Tesla had more than 48,000 employees worldwide at the end of 2019.

‘Staged Shutdown’

When Tesla representatives including Rohan Patel, a senior director of policy and business development who used to work in the Obama administration, met Fremont officials on March 19, they said the company intended to comply with the order, though it needed to conduct a “staged shutdown” of the plant.

The two sides agreed that all vehicle manufacturing would cease on March 23. Employees who remained on site would complete work at the end of assembly lines to protect the value of vehicles and batteries, while others would perform basic operations such as security, maintenance and cleaning, all while following social-distancing requirements.

“You explicitly agreed to that understanding,” the police chief later wrote. “If you were to transition to manufacturing ventilators, or other equipment intended to aid in the fight against Covid-19, these activities would be permitted.”

Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk tweeted March 18, the day before the meeting with Fremont officials, that the company would make ventilators “if there is a shortage.” The carmaker has since held discussions with Medtronic Plc, a leading ventilator maker based in Dublin, Ireland, but there’s no indication yet that Tesla will play a role in manufacturing the medical devices.

The Right Thing

During another virtual meeting on Sunday, March 22, Tesla briefly reversed its decision to close its plant. Alan Prescott, Tesla’s acting general counsel, argued the county’s health order had been superseded by a new statewide order issued by California Governor Gavin Newsom. The order included an exception for “critical infrastructure sectors,” a category Tesla claimed included its plant and thus meant the company could continue conducting full operations.

After Petersen, the police chief, told Tesla during the meeting that the city was rejecting that argument, Prescott said the company would wind down operations because it was “the right thing to do.”

A tweet Musk sent two days earlier suggested Tesla didn’t have a choice — the factory couldn’t stay open because Tesla’s parts suppliers weren’t going to keep running their plants, he wrote.

Petersen told Tesla she would like to schedule an inspection of the company’s facilities on March 24 to ensure compliance.

“In closing, I would like to reiterate that the city of Fremont highly values Tesla as a partner and appreciates what you do for our economy and community,” Petersen wrote in one of her emails to the company. “We are extremely grateful for your willingness to collaborate in our fight against the spread of Covid-19 by placing public health ahead of all other priorities.”

Source: Read Full Article

FaceTime tips and tricks – how to use filters, Memoji, and add friends to group call on iPhone

WANT to become a wise master of Apple's FaceTime video chat app? You'll need these tips and tricks.

We reveal how to make group calls, add filters and even replace your head with an animated emoji.

How to make a FaceTime Call

Here's how to make a standard FaceTime call:

  • 1. First, go to Settings > FaceTime and make sure that FaceTime is on.
  • 2. Then open the FaceTime app and tap the plus button (+) in the top-right corner.
  • 3. Enter the name of your contacts, phone numbers or email addresses.
  • 4. Then to start your FaceTime call, tap Audio or Video (depending on your preference).

If you can't add someone to a FaceTime call, it's likely that they're (1) not using an Apple device, (2) saved under the wrong mobile phone number or email address, or (3) have their device switched off or disconnected from the internet.

How to add a person to a Group FaceTime call

Here's how to make a Group FaceTime call:

  • 1. From the call, tap the plus icon (+).
  • 2. Then tap Add Person.
  • 3. Enter the contact's name, phone number or email address.
  • 4. Then tap Add Person to FaceTime.

You can also make a FaceTime call directly from a group Messages conversation.

Just open the conversation, tap the contacts at the top, and then tap FaceTime to start your call.

How to become an Animoji or Memoji

You can swap out your face with an Animoji or Memoji.

Animoji are Apple's own set of animated 3D emoji, which can transform you into a cat or a dragon, for example.

And Memoji are the Animoji you create yourself, designed to look just like you – but in cartoon form.

When you transform into an Animoji, the iPhone will map and track your face so that it matches your movements.

To do this, follow these steps:

  • 1. During the FaceTime call, tap the curved five-point star
  • 2. Then tap the Monkey head
  • 3. You can then swipe through characters and choose one

The other people on the call will hear your words, but see your Animoji talking instead of your real face.

Use filters on FaceTime

It's also possible to use filters on FaceTime to change how you look.

These work just like similar filters or lenses you'd find on Instagram or Snapchat.

Enter a FaceTime video call and then tap the screen.

Then tap the curvy five-pointed star.

Next, tap the three overlapping circles – one is red, one green and one blue.

This will open a list of filters, and you can choose any of them – or swipe left or right to preview them.

How to add text label during FaceTime

You can add a text label that says whatever you like – and then position it on the screen.
To do this, tap the screen and then tap the curvy five-pointed star.

Then tap the "Aa" icon, and then choose text label.

While the label is selected, simply type the text you want to appear, and then tap away from it.

You can then drag the label to wherever you want it to stay.

To delete the label, just tap it and then tap X.

In other news, find out how to disinfect your iPhone without breaking it.

Apple's widely rumoured 5G iPhone may still be on track for a 2020 launch.

And check out our genius iPhone battery life tricks to make your mobile last an entire day.

Do you know any genius iPhone tricks? Let us know in the comments!

Source: Read Full Article

Republican Governor Slaps Down Trump Testing Claim: ‘That’s Just Not True’

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) on Tuesday rejected President Donald Trump’s claim that there’s no longer a shortage of coronavirus tests, calling the assertion “just not true” and warning that no state has enough tests.

Hogan, who issued a statewide stay-at-home order a day earlier, told NPR’s “Morning Edition” that the country’s governors have made some progress in working with the federal government to obtain additional medical supplies, but more is needed.

“President Trump has suggested that the testing problems are over,” NPR’s Rachel Martin told Hogan during the interview.

“Yeah, that’s just not true,” said Hogan, who chairs the National Governors Association. “I know that they’ve taken some steps to create new tests, but they’re not actually produced and distributed out to the states. So it’s an aspirational thing.”

He added that the Trump administration has some new testing measures “in the works,” but for now “no state has enough testing.”

Asked if he’s concerned that Trump doesn’t have accurate information, Hogan said he believes others in the administration are “talking about the facts.”

“We’re listening to the smart team,” said Hogan, naming Vice President Mike Pence and other members of the White House coronavirus task force, including doctors Deborah Birx and Anthony Fauci.

Trump reportedly told governors during a conference call Monday that he had not “heard about testing in weeks,” even though governors, medical experts and health care workers have been repeatedly sounding the alarm about the continuing shortage of tests.

In a separate interview Tuesday, Hogan told CNN that there’s “no question” that leaders in every state and the federal government believe there’s a need for more testing.

“I’m not here to point blame,” Hogan said. “We’re all working to try to get more testing. … It doesn’t matter who’s supposed to be doing these things ― we’ve all got to get together and get them done because it’s going to save lives.”

“Without the tests we really are flying blind,” he continued. “We’re sort of guessing about where the outbreaks are and about what the infection rate and the hospitalization rates are and the mortality rates.”

On Monday, Hogan and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) ― who was attacked by Trump after she criticized his response to the pandemic ― published a joint editorial in The Washington Post outlining the help that states need from the federal government. 

Hogan told NPR on Tuesday that “every single state” has a shortage of ventilators and personal protective equipment, such as masks.

“We’ve been pushing these things at the federal level, but there’s simply not enough of them,” he said. 

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Hogan has been critical of Trump in the past. He harshly criticized the president last year after special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. And in October, he expressed support for an impeachment inquiry into Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.

  • Stay up to date with our live blog as we cover the COVID-19 pandemic
  • When will life return to normal? Europe has some answers.
  • Digestive issues might be an early sign of coronavirus
  • How to file for unemployment if you’ve been laid off
  • Avoiding going to the store? Here’s how to order groceries online.
  • What to do if you live with someone with COVID-19
  • How often do we really need to wash our faces?
  • The HuffPost guide to working from home
  • What coronavirus questions are on your mind right now? We want to help you find answers.

Source: Read Full Article