When President Donald Trump met with some health care professionals in the White House on Wednesday, a nurse pointed out that supplies of PPE (personal protective equipment) had been "sporadic" — inspiring Trump to become defensive and make some false claims about Barack Obama's administration.
Sophia Thomas, the president of the National Association of Nurse Practitioners, told Trump and others, "PPE has been sporadic, but it's been manageable. And we do what we have to do. We're nurses, and we learn to adapt…. And that's what we're going to continue to do as COVID-19 continues."
A defensive Trump told Thomas, "Sporadic for you, but not sporadic for a lot of other people."
That was when Trump tried to blame Obama, claiming, "I've heard that they're loaded up with gowns now. Initially, we had nothing. We had empty cupboards. We had empty shelves. We had nothing, because it wasn't put there by the last administration."
Trump rebukes a nurse who says "PPE has been sporadic, but it's been manageable."
"Sporadic for you, but not sporadic for a lot of other people," Trump replies. "That was fine, but I have heard we have a tremendous supply to almost all places." pic.twitter.com/zOf2rWxvHx
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 6, 2020
This wasn't the first time Trump falsely claimed that Obama's administration left him ill-equipped to respond to health emergencies. Journalist Aaron Rupar, in an article published by Vox on April 20, debunked an assertion by Trump that Obama left his administration with "horrible stockpiles" of medical equipment and "horrible ventilators" — and that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was left with "obsolete tests, old tests, broken tests."
Rupar explained: "The CDC couldn't have bad tests left over from the Obama administration, because the coronavirus test didn't exist until this year. And the stockpile was far from empty — its problem was that it was poorly maintained, an issue that rests on the Trump administration's shoulders."
Twitter users have been slamming Trump for his behavior during Wednesday's White House event. @ STLMindyf addressed Trump's "empty cupboards" comment, tweeting, "@realDonaldTrump. You had the job for THREE YEARS and did nothing to put anything in the stockpile. They left you a Department and a playbook in order to prepare. You did nothing. Now you point fingers."
@Caribayens sarcastically posted, "It's still Obama's fault. And I'm sure Hillary's e-mails are involved as well." And @chrisan51147433 tweeted, "What a bunch of B.S. They might as well be in North Korea. Trump won't allow ANY criticism whatsoever. He does not like to hear the truth, and everyone around him knows it. This was absolutely sickening to watch. BIDEN 2020!"
@Murrayb560sl wrote, "Only Trump could rebuke a nurse during a national health crisis… total lack of empathy." @MerrillLynched posted, "Calling it sporadic is actually a compliment. Trump's denial of reality is terrifying," and @keepthefaith611 tweeted, "I am so sick of hearing him blame everyone but Jared Kushner."